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MONICA  M,  gar: 

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Dean  C.    R,   Young 


_        POET   OF   POLAND 

(Published  1911) 

Daily  News. — "  Miss  Gardner's  able  study.  .  .  .  Lovex§_  of 
the  history  will  be  grateful  to  Miss  Gardner  for  her  account 
of  this  noble  enthusiast."  (Rest  of  review,  of  more  than  a  column, 
analysing  the  matter  of  the  book.) 

Scotsman. — "  So  little  is  known  in  this  country  about  Polish 
literati  that  a  book  which  tells  the  moving  story  of  the  greatest 
among  the  poets  of  Poland  is  sure  ol"a~  welcome  from  student 
readers.  The  present  interesting  volume — while  it  is  instructive 
in  no  small  measure  as  to  the  scope  and  character  of  Mickiewicz's 
poetry  and  literary  work — draws  so  lively  a  picture  of  the  perse- 
cutions and  sufferings  and  of  the  uncon^uered  spirit  of  the  poet 
that  its  human  interest  easily  overbears  mere  questions  of  litera- 
ture. .  .  .  The  work,  at  once  discriminating  and  enthusiastic, 
will  warmly  interest  all  sympathetic  students  of  Slavonic  popular 
literature."     (Rest  of  review  analyses  matter  of  the  book.) 

Westminster  Gazette.—"  Miss  Gardner  tells  the  story  with 
excellent  insight  and  sympathy.  .  .  .  The  author's  description  of 
the  four  parts  of  this  poem  gives  a  vivid  idea  of  its  far-reaching 
scope,  its  passionate  energy,  and  intensity  of  patriotism."  (Rest 
of  review,  tHfee-quarters  of  a  column,  analyses  matter  of  book.) 

Birmingham  Daily  Post. — "  We  are  very  glad  to  see  that 
Miss  Gardner  has  at  last  produced  a  well-documented  and  im- 
passioned study  of  the  life  and  achievements  of  Mickiewicz.  .  .  . 
Miss  Gardner  has  done  a  fine  and  useful  piece  of  work."  (Rest 
of  review,  a  column,  analysis  of  matter  of  book,  and  calling 
attention  to  the  importance  of  work  upon  Poland.) 

Manchester  Guardian. — "  Miss  Gardner,  a  devoted  and  accom- 
plished student  of  Polish  literature,  has  performed  a  considerable 
service  in  making  better  known  the  life  and  work  of  the  most 
famous  of  PoUsh  poets.  .  .  .  His  pathetic  story  is  told  in  great 
detail  and  with  deep  sympathy  by  Miss  Gardner.  .  .  .  Some  of 
her  prose  renderings  are  of  great  beauty — often  with  the  wild  and 
wayward  beauty  which  we  associate  with  Chopin."  (Rest  of 
review,  three-quarters  of  a  column,  analysis  of  matter  of  book.) 

New  Age. — "  A  real  work  of  love,  honest  and  thorough."  '  (Rest 
of  review,  of  about  a  column,  analysis  of  matter  of  the  book.)  : 


ADAM   MICKIEWICZ    [contd.) 

Cambridge  Review. — "  Miss  Gardner  .  .  .  gives  us  a  remark- 
ably true  picture  of  the  relations  between  the  poet  and  his  country. 
.  .  .  Miss  Gardner  has  realized  fully  what  she  attempted,  and 
indeed  few  countrymen  of  the  poet  could  perform  the  task  better." 

Bulletin  Polonais. — "  Une  etude  biographique  et  litteraire  tr^s 
substantielle,  tres  bien  documentee,  con^ue  tr^s  methodique- 
ment  et  ecrite  avec  beaucoup  de  charme  et  de  clarte.  .  .  .  C'est 
h  notre  connaissance  le  premier  livre  anglais  qui  traite  avec  tant 
d'ampleur  et  tant  de  conscience  une  question  d'histoire  littergLire 
polonaise.  Nous  esp^rons  que  Mile.  Gardner  ne  se  bomera  pas 
k  ce  brillant  coup  d'essai." 

Academy. — "  Miss  Gardner  has  done  a  real  service."  (The  rest 
of  a  very  long  and  sympathetic  review  is  an  analysis  of  the  matter 
of  the  book.) 

Tablet.—"  In  these  days,  when  the  reader  is  embarrassed  by 
the  abundance  of  books  that  are  not  wanted  ...  it  is  well  to 
meet  with  a  work  at  once  so  necessary  and  so  well  done.  .  .  . 
When  great  poetry  has  waited  so  long  for  appreciation,  and  a  story 
full  of  interest  has  been  left  untold,  we  might  welcome  any  attempt 
to  supply  the  deficiency.  But  in  this  case  the  work  is  so  admirably 
done  that  it  would  be  welcome,  though  we  had  other  biographies 
or  critical  appreciations  of  the  Polish  poet.  This  remarkable 
work  .  .  .  Apart  from  the  purely  biographical  interest,  which  is 
of  a  high  order,  there  is  much  that  throws  new  light  on  the  tragic 
pages  of  modem  Polish  history.  ...  It  may  be  hoped  that  this 
book  will  do  something  to  awaken  a  new  interest  in  the  history 
and  literature  of  Poland."  (Rest  of  review,  about  a  column, 
analysis  of  matter.) 

Standard. — "  This  is  the  first  attempt  which  has  been  made 
in  our  language  to  capture  the  imagination  by  a  critical  study 
of  the  fine  character  and  high  achievements  of  Adam  Mickiewicz. 
Miss  Monica  Gardner  writes  exceedingly  well — with  knowledge, 
with  sympathy,  and  with  vision.  .  .  .  The  book  ...  is  a  capable 
bit  of  work,  and  it  certainly  succeeds  in  giving  the  reader  a  realistic 
and  impressive  picture  of  a  man  who  loved  Poland  with  an  un- 
divided heart."  (Rest  of  review,  about  three-quarters  of  a  column, 
analysis  of  matter.) 

Athenaeum. — "  One  would  have  been  grateful  ior  a  moderate 
biography  of  Poland's  national  poet ;  Miss  Gardner's  work  merits 
a  more  distinguished  adjective,  and  therefore  is  doubly  worthy 
of  attention."     (Rest  of  review  analysis  of  matter.) 

ADAM    MICKIEWICZ    {contd.) 

Glasgow  Herald.—"  The  intensely  tragic  story  is  set  forth 
by  Miss  Gardner  with  skill  equal  to  her  sympathy.  .  .  .  What 
an  inspiration  Mickiewicz  was,  and  is,  may  be  readily  gathered 
from  the  translations  given  by  Miss  Gardner,  magnificent  even 
as  prose.  .  .  .  The  book  is  singularly  interesting  as  the  story 
of  a  man  and  a  nation  and  as  giving  a  vivid  glimpse  of  a  poetry 
almost  unknown  in  Britain."  (Rest  of  review,  about  three- 
quarters  of  a  column,  analysis  of  matter.) 

Yorkshire  Post. — "  This  book  of  Miss  Gardner's  should  appeal 
powerfully  to  EngUsh  readers  because  its  subject  has  the  provo- 
cations of  novelty ;  because  the  work  is  gracefully  and  sym- 
pathetically written,  with  discerning  and  intimate  knowledge  of 
fact  and  of  character,  and  yet  discriminating  and  just ;  and  be- 
cause it  embodies  once  more  the  story,  especially  dear  to  our 
hearts,  of  the  struggle  of  a  patriotic  race  for  freedom  and  national 
existence."  (Rest  of  review,  about  three-quarters  of  a  column, 
analysis  of  matter.) 


(Published  1915) 

Evening  Standard. — "  Miss  Monica  Gardner's  eloquent  book  is 
a  little  epic  of  sorrow  and  courage.  The  picture  that  it  paints 
is  pitiful  and_s_plendid.  .  .  .  The  book  must  be  read  for  itself. 
The' author  has  a  style  that  has  caught  fire  from  its^  subject,  and 
a  grace  and  restraint  that  make  the  book  an  appeal  to  all  lovers 
of  literature,  as  well  as  to  every  generous  heart."  (Rest  of  review, 
three-quarters  of  a  column,   analysis  of  matter.) 

Spectator. — "  Her  eloquent  and  touching  book.  .  .  .  Miss 
Gardner  gives  us  an  excellent  account",  enriched  by  many  spirited 
translations,  of  the  principal  works  of  these  remarkable  poets." 
(Rest  of  review,  two  columns  and  a  half,  a  laudatory  analysis  of 
matter.)  ^ 

T.  P.'s  Weekly. — "  The  admirable  historical  summary  in  Monica 
Gardner's  Poland.  .  .  .  The  author  has  written  a  book  that  must 
be  read.  .  .  .  The  position  of  Poland  is  one  of  the  important 
questions  to  be  settled  by  this  war,  and  we  cannot  know  too 
much  of  the  soul  of  a  country  that,  divided  among  spoilers,  still 
retained  national  unity."  (Rest  of  review,  three-quarters  of  a 
column,  analysis  of  matter.) 

Pall  Mall  Gazette.—"  Her  well- written  and  brilliant  book. 
This  book  deals  vnth  more  than  the  soul  of  a  jiation.  It 
speaks  for  the  S2iiit_of_a_people.  .  .  .  Miss 'Gardner  is  steeped  in 
Polish  literature,  and  her  account  of  these  great  poets  is  intensely 
interesting.  .  .  .  Her  description  of  Poland  during  the  last  hundred 
years  is  full  of  pathos  and  power.  There  is  no  straining  after 
effect ;  the  facts  are  ineffaceable  ;  and  this  brief  story  brings 
out  into  bold  relief  the  sufferings,  sorrows,  sacrifices,  struggle, 
and  strength  of  the  Polish  race.  .  .  .  This  book  is  an  eloquent 
description  of  a  great  people."  (Rest  of  review,  three-quarters 
of  a  column,  analysis  of  matter.) 

World. — "  At  present  the  only  kind  of  '  War  Book  '  that 
seems  to  us  really  worth  reading  is  that  of  which  the  conflict  now 
going  on  is  rather  the  occasion  than  the  cause.  Such,  we  may 
say,  is  Poland  :  a  Study  in  National  Idealism,  by  Monica  M. 
Gardner.  .  .  .  Clearly  Miss  Gardner  has  not  been  hurried  into 
producing  this  admirable  volume  by  the  mere  war,  but  only  gives 
out  in  season  the  enlightening  result  of  what  she  long  previously 
assimilated  and  made  her  own.  This  book  really  reveals  Poland." 
(Rest  of  review  analysis  of  matter.) 

Outlook.—"  In  this  little  volume  a  faithful  and  fearless  picture 
is  given  of  her  [Poland's]  struggle  for  independence."  (Rest  of 
review,    about  a  column,    analysis  of  matter.) 

Daily  News.—"  Miss  Gardner's  sejisitiye  and  accomplished 
little  study.  .  .  .  Miss  Gardner's  extremely  spirited  renderings." 
(Rest  of  review,  column  and  a  half,  analysis  of  matter.) 

Manchester  Guardian.—"  For  the  first  time  in  England  we 
are  able  to  read  books  on  Poland  by  an  author  who  has  made  a 
special  study  of  that  country.  To  those  who  know  not  Poland 
this  book  will  be  a  revelation. ' '     (Rest  of  review  analysis  of  matter.) 

Birmingham  Daily  Post.—"  We  render  Miss  Gardner  the  tribute 
of  deep  gratitude  for  introducing  us  to  a  noble  literature."  (Rest 
of  review,  three-quarters  of  a  column,  analysis  of  matter.) 

The  Venturer.—"  Miss  Gardner  has  done  well  to  give  us  this 
book.  It  is  not  large  in  bulk,  but  it  is  no  exaggeration  to  call 
it  a  great  book." 

Expository  Times.—"  Let  us  read  and  follow  the  course  of 
the  war.  Let  us  read  and  understand  what  must  be  when  the 
war  is  over.  Let  us  read  Monica  M.  Gardner's  delightful  book 
on  Poland.  It  is  both  literary  and  historical."  (Rest  of  review 
quotation  from  the  book.) 


London  Quarterly  Review. — "  The  book  is  a  real  contribution 
to  the  true  understanding  of  Polish  character  ^nd  Polish  aspira- 
tions."    (Rest  of  review  analysis  of  matter.) 

Tablet. — "  This  masterly  critical  appreciation  of  a  great  national 
Uterature.  .  .  .  This  welcome  work  on  the  tragic  story  of  the 
PoUsh  people  and  on  the  glories  of  their  great  national  literature 
is  singularly  happy  in  the  opportuneness  of  its  appearance.  For 
however  much  other  books  may  be  neglected,  there  is  naturally 
a  great  demand  for  books  that  offer  any  information  on  matters 
connected  \\ith  the  war.  In  most  cases,  no  doubt,  what  is  called 
war  literature  is  scarcely  literature  in  the  strict  sense  of  the  word. 
But  here,  happily,  we  have  a  book  of  rare  Uterary  merit  .  .  . 
and  it  comes  before  us  when  it  meets  a  present  need.  .  .  .  Miss 
Gardner,  in  this  fascinating  little  book  on  Poland,  enables  Enghsh 
readers  to  understand  the  tragic  story  of  the  Polish  people,  their 
unbroken  spiritual  unity,  an"d  lEelr  undauntea  hope  in  the  future 
dT_their  country."  (Rest  of  review,  two  columns  and  a  half, 
analysis  of  matter.) 

Times. — "  Miss  Gardner  is  an  instructed  and  cultivated  student 
of  Poland." 


(Published  1917) 

Daily  Telegraph. — "  To  their  popular  series  of  travel  books 
called  '  Peeps  at  Many  Lands  '  Messrs.  Black  have  now  added 
a  volume  on  Poland,  by  Monica  M.  Gardner,  The  more  we  know 
of  Poland  and  the  Polish  people  the  better  our  understanding  of 
the  causes  of  the  war.  .  .  .  The  book  is  as  good  reading  as  any 
fiction,  and  the  most  austere  critic  must  admit  its  relevance  to  the 
task  of  '  getting  on  with  the  war.'  " 

Spectator. — "  Young  people  should  read  Miss  Monica  Gardner's 
short  and  interesting  book  on  Poland.  .  .  .  Enghsh  readers  know 
very  little  about  the  Poles,  and  this  book  deserves  attention,  for 
we  cannot  as  a  nation  afford  any  longer  to  neglect  Poland." 

Common  Cause. — "  The  Uttle  volume  gives  a  most  vivid  and 
delightful  picture  of  Poland  as  it  was  before  the  war,  with  its 
spacious  steppes  and  wonderful  forests,  and  it  tells  of  the  nation's 
struggle  for  freedom  against  over^vhelming  odds.  The  book  deals 
largely  with  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  people  in  modem 
times,  which  the  writer  makes  extremely  interesting  ;  but  it  tells 
also  the  main  events  in  the  history  of  the  unfortunate  kingdom 
from  early  days." 

POLAND    ("PEEPS    AT    MANY    LANDS")    (contd) 

Globe.—"  Miss    Gardner    tells    in    a    most    touching    way    the 
picturesque  story  of  that  unhappy  land." 

Aberdeen  Journal.—"  To  the  '  Peeps '  series  of  attractive 
books  ...  has  been  added  this  dainty  volume  on  Poland  by 
Monica  M.  Gardner,  well  known  as  the  author  of  Adam  Mickiewicz 
and  Poland  :  a  Study  in  National  Idealism.  That  the  war  must 
have  a  vital  effect  on  the  destiny  of  Poland  is  universally  acknow- 
ledged, and  now  is  the  time  to  study  the  characteristics  of  the 
Poles.  ...  The  chapter  devoted  to  Polish  National  Customs  is 
quite* fascinating,  and  '  A  Day  in  Cracow  '  presents  vivid  gUmpses 
of  the  chief  city  of  '  Austrian  '  Poland.  The  vexatious  character 
of  the  rule  in  '  Prussian  '  Poland  is  effectively  exposed.  Miss 
Gardner  possesses  a  clear  and  pleasing  style  well  suited  to  a  popular 
and  well-timed  book." 

Tablet. — "  With  the  fate  of  Poland  once  again  in  the  melting- 
pot  of  a  European  war,  Miss  Monica  Gardner's  sympathetic  account 
of  its  people  and  cities  in  Poland  may  be  confidently  recommended 
as  the  work  of  one  who  knows  and  loves  her  subject.  It  is  a  work 
which,  small  as  it  is,  deserves  the  attention  of  readers  young  and 

Polish  Review.—"  Miss  Monica  Gardner's  little  book  on  Poland 
in  the  '  Peeps  at  Many  Lands  '  ought  to  be  in  the  hands  of  all 
in  this  country  who  want  to  get  to  the  heart  of  Poland.  The 
authoress  both  knows  and  feels  her  subject,  and  her  lively  pic- 
turesque style  .VVlhalies  lier  page^  interesting  both  to  young 
ana'oidT'" ^ 


(Published  1919) 

Spectator.—"  Miss  Gardner  has  followed  up  her  monograph 
on  Mickiewicz  with  an  admirable  companion  study  of  Zygmunt 
Krasinski,  the  *  Unknown  '  or  '  Anonymous  '  Poet  of  Poland,  second 
only  to  Mickiewicz  in  genius,  and.  in  virtue  of  his  personality,  his 
strange  gift  of  prescience,  and  the  romantic  and  tragic  conditions  of 
his  life,  appealing  to  a  wider  audience  than  his  great  contemporary. 
He  came  on  his  father's  side  of  an  ancient,  noble,  and  wealthy 
Polish  family,  related  to  the  House  of  Savoy  ;  his  mother  was 
a  Radziwill.  A  precocious  only  child,  he  was  brought  up  in  his 
father's  palace  in  Warsaw  and  on  his  country  estate  at  Opinogora. 
Vincent  Krasinski  had  fought  with  distinction  in  the  Pohsh  Legion 

THE    ANONYMOUS    POET    OF    POLAND    (contd.) 

under  Napoleon  ;   he  was  a  commanding  figure  in  the  autonomous 
Kingdom  of  Poland  until  1828,  when  he  was  the  only  member 
of  the  Senate  of  the  Polish  Diet  who  voted  for  the  death-penalty 
at  the  trial  of  the  Poles  implicated  in  the  Decembrist  rising  of  1825. 
More  than  that,  when  the  students  of  the  University  at  Warsaw 
deserted  their  lecture-rooms  en  masse  to  attend  the  funeral  of  the 
patriotic  Bielinski  in  the  folio-wing  year,  Zygmunt  Krasinski  was 
forbidden  by  his  father  to  join  them,  and  peremptorily  ordered 
to  go  to  his  work.     This  invidious  isolation  blasted   Zygmunt's 
youth  and  affected  his  whole  career.     He  had  to  be  removed  from 
the  University,  was  sent  with  a  tutor  to  Geneva  in  1829,  and  never 
saw  Poland  again  save  as  a  conquered  province  of  Russia.     His 
father  transferred  his  allegiance  to  Nicholas  I,  migrated   to   St. 
Petersburg,  was  held  in  high  honour  by  the  Tsar  and  execrated 
by  his  fellow-countrymen.     Later  on  he  effectually  thwarted  Zyg- 
munt's desire  to  join  in  the  rising  of  1830,  and  by  his  persistence 
forced    him   into   a   reluctant   manage   de   convenance.     Zygmunt 
Krasinski  was  undoubtedly  in  a  painful  position,  for  he  could  not 
openly    declare    himself   without   still   further    compromising    his 
father's  position.     He  hated  his  "father's  poUcy.  but  he  loved  the 
man  who  had  trained  him  to  love   his   country,  and,  above   all, 
he  feared  him.     It  was  a  new  and  tragic  variant  on  odi  et  amo, 
which  drove  Zygmunt  Krasinski  into  a  strange  life  of  compromise, 
evasion,  and  sacrifice.     To  put  it  brutally,  he  was  not  a  fighting 
man  ;    so  far  as  action  went,  he  feared  his  father  more  than  he 
loved  his  country,  and  there  was  a  sting  of  truth  in  the  bitter  taunt 
addressed   to   him   by   his  brother-poet    Slowacki  :     '  Thou  wert 
afraid,  son  of  a  noble.'     He  was  often  conscious  of  his  weakness 
as  when  he  wrote  to  Henry  Reeve  in  1830  :    '  I  am  a  fool,  I  am 
a  coward,  I  am  a  wretched  being,  I  have  the  heart  of  a  girl,  I  do 
not  dare  to  brave  a  father's  curse.'     But  it  is  right  to  remember 
that  he  was  physically  a  weakling,  tormented  by  ill-health,  neurotic, 
and  half -blind  from  his  nineteenth  year.     Torn  in  two  by  the  conflict 
between  filial  duty  and  the  desire  to  serve  his  country,  always 
dreading  the  worst  for  himself,  never  free  from  the  apprehension 
that  he  would  end  hia-days  in  Siberia,  he  took  refuge  in  anonymity 
as  the  only  means  of  salving  his  conscience  and  sparing  his  father. 
The  curious  and  self-protective  devices  by  which  he  secured  secrecy 
were  sometimes  more  ingenious  than  dignified.     Some  of  his  works 
were  put  forth  under  the  names  or  initials  of  his  friends.     The 
secret  was  most  loyally  kept,  but  others  suffered.     According  to 
his  biographer,  his  poems  were  penal  contraband,  and  many  of 
his  countrymen  were  sent  to  Siberia  for  possessing  them.     What 
Krasinski  sacrificed  was  fame,  publicity,  above  all  peace  of  mind. 
He  envied  those  of  his  contemporaries  who  fought  and  died  for 
their  country.     He  was  not  a  hero,  and  he  knew  it.     The  heroes 

THE    ANONYMOUS    POET    OF    POLAND    (contd.) 

of  his  poems  and  plays  were  always  soldiers,  men  of  action,  and 
in  his  most  original  work,  the  extraordinary  Undivine  Comedy,  he 
levelled  the  most  damaging  indictment  against  the  self-centred 
egotism  of  the  poet  that  has  ever  been  penned  by  a  man  of  letters. 
And  the  bitterness  of  the  portrait  is  only  heightened  by  the  fact 
that  it  was  largely  inspired  by  self-criticism  ;  his  letters  and  his 
life  afford  only  too  frequent  justification  for  the  recurrent  comment 
of  the  mocking  spirit  in  the  play  on  the  melodramatic  pose  of  the 
hero  :    '  Thou  composest  a  drama.' 

"  The  Undivine  Comedy,  a  prose  drama,  though  prompted  by  the 
events  of  1830,  makes  no  mention  of  Poland.  It  is  a  double  tragedy 
in  which  the  central  figure,  Henryk,  after  wrecking  his  home  life  by 
his  egotism,  assumes  the  leadership  of  his  class,  aristocratic  and 
decadent,  against  a  communistic  rising  led  by  Pankracy,  a  Mephis- 
topheles  who  is  not  sure  of  himself.  Henryk  goes  down  in  the 
struggle,  but  his  conqueror  falls  in  the  hour  of  triumph  with  the 
words  '  Vicisti  Galilaee  '  on  his  lips.  The  scenes  from  the  domestic 
tragedy  are  strangely  moving  :  the  sequel,  in  which  the  influence 
of  Faust  is  obvious,  is  chiefly  noteworthy  for  the  flashes  of  prescience 
in  which  the  Walpurgisnacht  of  brutal,  revolting  humanity  fore- 
shadows with  a  strange  clairvoyance  the  outstanding  features 
of  the  democratic  upheaval  in  Russia.  But  it  is  a  drama  of  hopeless- 
ness :  '  the  cry  of  despair,'  as  Mickiewicz  caUed  it,  '  of  a  man 
of  genius  who  recognizes  the  greatness  and  difficulty  of  social 
questions '  without  being  able  to  solve  them.  The  Undivine 
Comedy  is  '  the  drama  of  a  perishing  world  '  :  it  was  only  in  his 
later  works  that  Krasinski's  belief  in  the  ultimate  resurrection  of 
Poland  emerged.  In  Iridion,  another  prose  drama,  we  have  his 
first  direct  appeal  to  his  nation,  though  it  is  cast  in  the  form  of  an 
allegorical  romance,  in  which  the  men  and  women  are  rather 
symbols  than  portraits.  The  hero  is  a  Greek  in  Rome  in  the  time 
of  Heliogabalus,  Rome  standing  for  Russia.  Beginning  with 
this  drama,  and  increasingly  developed  in  his  later  poems,  is  to 
be  found  Krasinski's  abiding  conviction  that  Poland's  salvation 
consists  in  the  abjuring  of  vengeance — that  the  poUtical  redemption 
of  the  world  would  be  achieved  by  her  sufferings,  as  mankind  was 
redeemed  by  the  sufferings  of  Christ.  The  agony  of  Poland  was 
not  regarded  by  him  as  merited  for  any  crimes  in  the  past.  She 
was  an  innocent  victim,  and  the  greater  the  wrong  inflicted  on  her, 
the  greater  was  the  chance  of  her  ultimate  victory.  In  what  was 
the  darkest  hour  of  his  life,  in  1846,  when  the  Galician  peasantry, 
incited  by  Austrian  propagandists,  rose  and  massacred  the  Polish 
nobles  and  Austria  annexed  Cracow,  he  wrote  :  '  That  last  span 
of  earth  torn  from  us  by  the  fourth  partition  has  more  than  anything 
else  advanced  our  cause.  Every  wound  inflicted  on  something 
holy  and  good  becomes  a  far  deeper  wound,  by  the  reflection  of 

THE    ANONYMOUS    POET    OF    POLAND    {contd.) 

the  Divine  Justice  that  rules  history,  on  him  who  inflicted  it.' 
And  again  :  '  There  was  never  a  nation  in  such  sublime  circum- 
stances, in  such  favourable  conditions,  who  was  so  near,  from  the 
cross  on  which  she  hangs,  to  heaven  whither  she  must  ascend.' 
It  will  be  readily  understood  that  this  panegyric  of  suffering,  coming 
from  a  man  who  had  not  fought  for  his  country  or  suffered  forfeiture 
of  his  wealth,  did  not  appeal  to  all  Pohsh  patriots.  The  gospel 
of  pardon  and  the  acceptance  of  pain  revolted  men  like  Kamienski 
and  Slowacki,  who  resented  the  tone  of  the  Psalms  of  the  Future, 
in  which  Krasinski's  distrust  of  democratic  propaganda  found 
impassioned  utterance.  His  appeal  to  his  countrymen  to  adopt 
the  watchword  of  love  and  not  that  of  terrorism  was  ineffective ; 
but  the  catastrophe  of  1846,  though  it  shattered  his  health,  did 
not  shatter  his  belief  that  Poland's  resurrection  depended  on  each 
Pole's  personal  purity  of  heart  and  deed.  His  last  national  poems 
are  prayers  for  goodwill.  In  '  Resurrecturis  '  his  answer  to  the 
eternal  mystery  of  undeserved  pain  is  that  the  '  quiet  might  of 
sacrifice  '  was  '  the  only  power  in  the  world  which  could  crush 
Poland's  crushing  fate,'  As  the  late  Professor  Morfill  well  said 
of  him,  Krasinski  '  always  stood  by  the  open  grave  of  his  country,' 
and  the  somewhat  cloudy  mysticism  in  which  he  found  his  chief 
consolation  is  too  rarefied  for  robuster  minds.  Yet  his  hope  never 
wholly  failed  :  the  saying  that  he  quoted  to  encourage  his  friend 
Soltan — '  speravit  contra  spent  :  that  is  a  great  and  holy  word  ^  of 
the  sacred  Scriptures  ' — might  stand  for  his  motto  ;  and  a  saying 
from  one  of  his  poems,  as  Miss  Gardner  not  unjustly  contends, 
might  well  be  his  epitaph  :  '  If  you  would  mark  him  out  by  any 
sign,  call  him  a  Pole,  for  he  loved  Poland.  In  this  love  he  lived 
and  in  it  died.' 

"  Krasinski  died  in  Paris,  where  he  had  also  been  bom,  in  1859, 
only  outliving  his  father  by  three  months,  in  which  he  was  engaged 
on  a  memoir,  never  completed,  in  vindication  of  the  memory  of 
the  man  who  had  dominated  his  earthly  existence.  He  had  many 
devoted  friends  who  advised  and  helped  him,  acted  as  his  amanuenses, 
and,  as  we  have  seen,  shielded  him  by  assuming  authorship  of  his 
works.  In  turn  he  was  the  generous  friend  of  all  Polish  patriots 
in  distress,  whatever  were  their  politics.  Deeply  susceptible  from 
his  boyhood,  he  was  profoundly  influenced  by  three  women : 
Mme.  Bobrowa,  to  whom  he  dedicated  his  Undivine  Comedy  and 
other  works  ;  the  beautiful  and  unhappy  Countess  Delphina  Potocka, 
immortaUzed  by  her  friendship  with  Chopin,  who  both  before  and 
for  several  years  after  Krasinski's  marriage  was  his  Egeria,  and 
to  whom  he  inscribed  a  series  of  love  lyrics  and  the  mystical  poem 
'  Dawn,'  in  which  two  exiles  on  the  Lake  of  Como  dream  of  the 
resurrection  of  their  nation.  The  idealistic  nature  of  Krasinski's 
love  for  Delphina  Potocka,  as  compared  with  his  infatuation  for 

THE    ANONYMOUS    POET    OF    POLAND    (contd.) 

Mme.  Bobrowa,  is  emphasized  by  his  latest  biographer.  She  was 
his  Beatrice,  and  the  figure  of  the  woman  he  loved  constantly 
merges  in  that  of  his  eternal  mistress,  Poland.  The  third  woman 
was  his  wife,  Elibieta  Branicka,  whom  he  married  reluctantly, 
treated  coldly  for  years,  but  came  in  the  end  to  respect  and  love 
for  her  goodness  and  forbearance,  repairing  his  neglect  in  the  beauti- 
ful poems  of  repentance  and  gratitude  addressed  to  her  in  the  last 
years  of  his  troubled  life.  Miss  Gardner's  translations,  especially 
those  from  Krasinski's  prose  works,  are  done  with  spirit  and  no 
little  skill.  The  difficulties  of  the  poems  are  greater,  but  she  has 
given  us  at  any  rate  a  good  idea  of  their  mystical  eloquence.  She 
has  made  excellent  use  of  the  already  extensive  literature  on  the 
subject,  culminating  in  the  complete  edition  of  his  works  published 
in  1912,  the  year  of  Krasinski's  centenary.  And  she  has  drawn 
freely  from  the  remarkable  letters  written  in  French  to  Henry 
Reeve,  whom  he  met  in  Geneva  in  1 830 — when  Reeve  was  a  romantic, 
enthusiastic  youth  '  with  the  face  of  a  beautiful  girl ' — and 
corresponded  with  for  several  years.  More  than  sixty  years  later 
these  letters  were  handed  over  by  Henry  Reeve  to  Krasinski's 
grandson,  and  published  in  Paris  in  1902  with  a  Preface  by  Dr. 
Kallenbach,  of  Lwow  University,  the  chief  authority  on  Krasinski." 







AUTHOR    OF    ''aDAM    MICKIEWICZ  "  ;     "POLAND;    A    STUDY    IN    NATIONAL 
IDEALISM  "  ;    "  THE    ANCSYMOUS    POET    OF    POLAND,"    ETC. 



Firsl  publisJied  in  igso 


(All  rights  resented) 






HERO    OF     HER 



The  appearance  of  an  English  biography  of  the 
PoHsh  patriot,  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko,  requires  no 
justification.  Kosciuszko 's  name  is  prominent  in 
the  long  roll-call  of  Polish  men  and  women  who 
have  shed  their  blood,  sacrificed  their  happiness, 
and  dedicated  their  lives  to  gain  the  liberation  of 
Poland.  We  are  now  beholding  what  it  was  not 
given  to  them  to  see,  the  fruit  of  the  seed  they 
sowed — the  restoration  of  their  country  to  her 
place  in  the  commonwealth  of  the  world.  It  is 
therefore  only  fitting  that  at  this  moment  we  should 
recall  the  struggle  of  one  of  the  noblest  of  Polish 
national  heroes,  whose  newly  risen  country  is  the 
ally  of  England  and  America,  and  whose  young 
compatriots  fought  with  great  gallantry  by  the 
side  of  British  and  American  soldiers  in  the  war 
that  has  effected  the  dehverance  of  Kosciuszko 's 

M.  M.  G. 



Preface    .... 

Note    ox    the    Pronunciation    of 


I.  The  Youth  of  Kosciuszko 
II.  The  Fight  for  American  Freedom 

III.  The  Years  of  Peace 

IV.  The  First  Fight  for  Poland  . 
V.  The  Eve  of  the  Rising 

VI.  The  Rising  of  Kosciuszko — I. 
VII.  The  Rising  of  Kosciuszko — II. 
VIII.  The  Russian  Prison 
IX.  Exile 

List  of  Books  Consulted 













*    C=ts. 
C,  ci,  =a  soft  English  ch. 

Ch=  strongly  aspirated  h,  resembling  ch  in  Scotch  loch. 

Cz=ch,  as  in  charm. 



L  =  a  peculiarly  PoUsh  letter,  roughly  speaking  to   be  pro- 
nounced between  u  and  w. 

0  =  00,  as  in  mood. 

Rz  =  the  French  j,  as  in  Jean. 

i,  si,  =a  slightly  hissed  and  softened  sound  of  sh. 

W  =  v. 

t,  zi  =  French  j. 

The  stress  in  Polish  falls  almost  invariably  on  the  penultimate 





I  The  great  national  uprisings  of  history  have  for 
the  most  part  gone  down  to  time  identified  with 
the  figure  of  a  people's  hero  :  with  some  personality 
which  may  be  said  in  a  certain  manner  to  epitomize 
and  symbolize  the  character  of  a  race.  "  I  and  my 
nation  are  one":  thus  Poland's  greatest  poet,  Adam 
Mickiewicz,  sums  up  the  devotion  that  will  not 
shrink  before  the  highest  tests  of  sacrifice  for  a  native 
country.  "  My  name  is  Million,  because  I  love 
millions  and  for  millions  suffer  torment."  If  to 
this  patriotism  oblivious  of  self  may  be  added  an 
unstained  moral  integrity,  the  magnetism  of  an 
extraordinary  personal  charm,  the  glamour  of  a 
romantic  setting,  we  have  the  pure  type  of  a  national 
champion.  Representative,  therefore,  in  every  sense 
is  the  man  with  whose  name  is  immortally  asso- 
ciated the  struggle  of  the  Polish  nation  for  her 
life — Tadeusz    KosciuszkoJ 

Kosciuszko  was  born  on  February  12,  1746,  during 
Poland's  long  stagnation  under  her  Saxon  kings. 
The  nation  was  exhausted  by  wars  forced  upon  her 
by  her  alien  sovereigns.  Her  territories  were  the 
passage  for  Prussian,  Russian,  and  Austrian  armies, 



traversing  them  at  their  will.  With  no  natural 
boundaries  to  defend  her,  she  was  surrounded  by 
the  three  most  powerful  states  in  Eastern  Europe 
who  were  steadily  working  for  her  destruction. 
In  part  through  her  own  impracticable  constitution, 
but  in  greater  measure  from  the  deUberate  machina- 
tions of  her  foreign  enemies,  whether  carried  on  by 
secret  intrigues  or  by  the  armed  violence  of  superior 
force,  Poland's  poHtical  Ufe  was  at  a  standstill,  her 
parhament  obstructed,  her  army  reduced.  Yet  at 
the  same  time  the  undercurrent  of  a  strong  move- 
ment to  regeneration  was  striving  to  make  itself 
felt.  Far-seeing  men  were  busying  themselves  with 
problems  of  reform  ;  voices  were  raised  in  warning 
against  the  perils  by  which  the  commonwealth  was 
beset.  New  ideas  were  pouring  in  from  France. 
Efforts  were  being  made  by  devoted  individuals, 
often  at  the  cost  of  great  personal  self-sacrifice,  to 
amehorate  the  state  of  the  peasantry,  to  raise  the 
standard  of  education  and  of  culture  in  the  country. 
Under  these  conditions,  in  the  last  years  of  the  inde- 
pendence of  Poland,  passed  the  childhood  and  youth  of 
her  future  hberator. 

Kosciuszko  came  of  a  class  for  which  we  have 
no  precise  equivalent,  that  ranked  as  noble  in  a 
country  where  at  that  time  the  middle  classes  were 
unknown,  and  where  the  ordinary  gentry,  so  long 
as  they  had  nothing  to  do  with  trade,  showed  patents 
of  nobihty,  irrespective  of  means  and  standing.  His 
father,  who  held  a  post  of  notary  in  his  Lithuanian 
district  and  who  owned  more  than  one  somewhat 
modest  •  estate,  was  universally  respected  for  his 
upright  character,  which,  together  with  his  aptitude 
for   affairs,  caused  his   advice   and  assistance  to  be 


widely  sought  through  the  countryside.     Kosciuszko  ^ 
spent  his  boyhood  in  the  tranquil,  wholesome,  out- 
of-door  hfe   of   a  remote    spot  in   Lithuania.      The 
home   was   the   wooden    one-storied    dwelUng   with 
thatched,  sloping  roof  and  rustic  veranda,  in  aspect 
resembling   a   sort   of    glorified    cottage,   that   long 
after  Kosciuszko's  day  remained  the  type  of  a  Pohsh 
country    house.     Kosciuszko's    upbringing    was    of 
the  simplest  and  most  salutary  description.     There 
was   neither   show   nor   luxury   in   his   home.     The 
family  fortune   had  been  left   to   his   father  in   an 
embarrassed  condition  :  his  father's  care  and  dihgence 
had  for  the  time  saved  it.    The  atmosphere  that  sur- 
rounded the  young  Kosciuszko  was  that  of  domestic 
virtue,  strict  probity.     He  had  before  his  eyes  the 
example  of  the  devoted  married  hfe  of  his  parents. 
He  went  freely  and  intimately  among  the  peasants 
on  his  father's  property,  and  thus  learnt  the  strong 
love  for  the  people  that   dictated  the  laws  he  urged 
upon  his  country  when  he  became  her- ruler. 

Unpretending  as  was  his  father's  household,  its 
practice  was  the  patriarchal  hospitahty  that  marked 
the  manners  of  the  Poland  of  a  century  and  a  half 
ago,  as  it  does  to-day.  Friends  and  relations  came 
and  went,  always  welcome,  whether  expected  or  un- 
bidden. We  have  a  dehcious  letter  from  Kosciuszko's 
mother,  Tekla,  to  her  husband  on  one  of  the  numerous 
occasions  3vhen  he  was  away  from  home  on  business, 
in  which,  fondly  calUng  him  "  my  heart,  the  most 
beloved  Uttle  dear  Ludwik  and  benefactor  of  my 
hfe,"  she  begs  him  to  send  her  wine,  for  her  house 
is  filled  with  "  perpetual  guests,"  and  will  he  try 
and  procure  her  some  fish,  if  there  is  any  to  be  had, 
"  because  I  am  ashamed  to  have  only  barley  bread 


on  my  table."  ^  When  accommodation  failed  in 
the  overcrowded  house,  the  men  slept  in  the  barn. 
In  the  day  they  hunted,  shot,  rode,  or  went  off  in 
-parties,  mushroom  hunting.  If  to  the  pure  and 
unspoiled  influence  of  his  home  Kosciuszko  owes 
something  at  least  of  the  moral  rectitude  and  devotion 
to  duty  from  which  he  neVer  sweTved^,  the  cmmfry 
life~oF  Lithuania,  with  its  freedom  and  its  strange 
charm,  the  Ufa  that  he  loved  above  all  others,  has 
probably  a  good  deal  to  say  to  the  simplicity  of 
nature  and  the  straightness  of  outlooK  that  are 
such  "strongly  mar^ed'^h'aracteristics  m  this  son  of 
Lthe  Lithuanian  forests. 

His  early  education  was  given  him  by  his  mother, 
a  woman  of  remarkable  force  of  character  and 
practical  capacity.  Left  a  widow  with  four  children 
under  age,  of  whom  Tadeusz  was  the  youngest, 
she,  with  her  clear  head  and  untiring  energy,  managed 
several  farms  and  skilfully  conducted  the  highly 
complicated  money  matters  of  the  family.  Tadeusz's 
home  schooUng  ended  with  his  father's  death  when 
the  child  was  twelve  _^ears_. old.  "He  then  attended 
the  Jesuit  iiollege  at  the  chief  town  in  his  district, 
Brzes^.  He  was  a  diUgent  and  clever  boy  who 
loved  his  book  and  who  showed  a  good  deal  of  talent 
for  drawing.  He  left  school  with  a  sound  classical 
training  and  with  an  early  developed  passion  for  his 
country.  Already  Timoleon  was  his  favourite  hero 
of  antiquity  because,  so  he  told  a  friend  fifty  years 
later,  "  he  was  able  to  restore  his  nation's  freedom, 
taking  nothing  for  himself." 

In  1763  the  long  and  dreary  reign  of  Augustus  III, 

•  T.    Korzon,    Kosciuszko.     Cracow,    1894 ;    later    edition,    1906 


the  last  Saxon  king  of  Poland,  came  to  an  end. 
Russian  diplomacy,  supported  by  Russian  cannon, 
placed  Stanislas  Augustus  Poniatowski,  the  lover 
of  Catherine  II,  upon  the  Polish  throne  in  1764. 
The  year  following,  Kosciuszko,  an  unknown  boy 
of  nineteen  years  of  age  whose  destiny  was  strangely 
to  coUide  with  that  of  the  newly  elected  and  last 
sovereign  of  independent  Poland,  was  entered  in 
the  Corps  of  Cadets,  otherwise  called  the  Royal 
SchoolTIn  VTarsawT— Prince  Adam  Czartoryski,  a 
leading' member  of  the  great  family,  so  predominant 
then  in  Polish  politics  that  it  was  given  the  name  of 
"  The  Family "  par  excellence,  frequently  visited 
Lithuania,  where  he  held  high  miHtary  command 
and  possessed  immense  estates.  Young  Tadeusz 
attracted  his  interest,  and  it  was  through  his  influence 
that  the  boy  was  placed  in  an  establishment  of  which 
he  was  the  commandant  and  which,  founded  by  the 
King,  who  was  related  to  the  Czartoryskis,  was  under 
immediate  Royal  patronage.  Technically  speaking, 
the  school  was  not  a  military  academy,  but  the 
education  was  largely  military  and  the  discipline 
was  on  military  lines.  Above  all,  it  was  a  school 
for  patriotism. 

The  admission  of  the  candidate  was  in  the  nature 
of  a  semi-chivalrous  and  national  function,  bearing 
the  stamp  of  the  knightly  and  romantic  traditions 
of  Poland.  On  the  first  day  Kosciuszko  was  formally 
presented  to  the  commandant,  to  the  officers  and  to 
the  brigade  to  which  he  was  to  belong.  He  embraced 
'his  new  comrades,  was  initiated  into  the  regulations 
and  duties  of  the  life  before  him  and  examined  upon 
his  capabilities.  On  the  following  day  he  gave  in 
his  promise  to  observe  the  rules,  and  with  a  good 


deal  of  ceremony  was  invested  with  the  deep  blue 
uniform  of  the  cadet.  But  this  was  merely  the 
probation  of  the  "  novice,"  as  the  aspirant  was 
termed.  A  year's  test  followed,  and  then  if  judged 
worthy  the  youth  received  in  the  chapel  his  final 
enrolment.  All  his  colleagues  were  present  in  full 
dress  carr3dng  their  swords.  High  Mass  was  sung, 
which  the  "  novice  "  heard  kneeling  and  unarmed. 
The  chaplain  then  laid  before  him  his  high  obhgation 
to  his  country  ;  subsequently  the  proceedings  were 
adjourned  to  the  hall  or  square,  where  the  brigadier 
proffered  the  neophyte's  request  for  his  sword. 
With  the  brigadier's  hand  on  his  left  arm,  on  his 
right  that  of  the  sub-brigadier — the  sub-brigadiers 
being  the  senior  students — the  candidate  was  put 
through  a  string  of  questions,  reminiscent  of  those 
administered  to  a  probationer  taking  the  religious 
vows.  One  is  typical :  "  Hast  thou  the  sincere 
resolve  always  to  use  this  weapon  which  thou  art 
about  to  receive  in  defence  of  thy  country  and 
thy  honour  ?  "  On  the  youth's  reply,  "  I  have  no 
other  resolve,"  arms  were  presented,  drums  rolled, 
and  the  senior  officer  girded  the  new  soldier  with 
his  sword,  and  placed  his  musket  in  his  hand  to 
the  accompaniment  of  moral  formulas.  The  young 
man  then  made  a  solemn  promise  not  to  disgrace 
his  comrades  by  any  crime  or  want  of  application 
to  his  duties.  Led  to  his  place  in  the  ranks,  he  pre- 
sented arms,  each  brigade  marched  away,  led  by 
its  brigadier,  and  the  day  concluded  with  a  festive 

The  catechism  that  the  cadet  learnt  by  heart 
and  repeated  every  Saturday  to  his  sub-brigadier — 
it   was   written   by   Adam   Czartoryski — was   of  the 


same  patriotic  description.  Next  to  the  love  of 
God  it  placed  the  love  of  country.  "  Can  the  cadet 
fear  or  be  a  coward  ?  "  was  one  of  its  questions, 
with  the  response,  "  I  know  not  how  to  answer, 
for  both  the  word  and  the  thing  for  which  it  stands 
are  unknown  to  me."  This  was  no  mere  ornamental 
flourish  :  for  a  dauntless  courage  is  one  of  the  most 
distinctive  characteristics  of  the  Polish  race,  whether 
of  its  sons  or  daughters.  No  opportunity  was  lost, 
even  in  the  textbooks  of  the  school,  to  impress  upon 
the  students'  minds  that  above  all  their  lives  belonged 
to  Poland.  Let  them  apply  themselves  to  history, 
said  the  foreword  of  an  encyclopaedia  that  Adam 
Czartoryski  wrote  expressly  for  them,  so  that  they 
shall  learn  how  to  rule  their  own  nation  ;  to  the 
study  of  law,  that  they  may  correct  the  errors  of 
those  lawgivers  gone  before  them.  "  You  who  have 
found  your  coimtry  in  this  most  lamentable  condi- 
tion must  people  her  with  citizens  ardent  for  her 
glory,  the  increase  of  her  internal  strength,  her 
reputation  among  foreigners,  the  reformation  of 
what  is  most  evil  in  her  government.  May  you, 
the  new  seed,  change  the  face  of  your  country." 

In  this  environment  Kosciuszko  spent  the  most 
impressionable  period  of  his  youth.  Early  portraits 
show  us  the  winning,  eager,  mobile  young  face  before 
Kfe  moulded  it  into  the  rugged  countenance  of  the 
PoUsh  patriot,  with  its  stern  purpose  and  melancholy 
enthusiasm,  that  Hves  as  the  hkeness  of  Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko.  Even  as  a  cadet  Kosciuszko  was 
distinguished  not  merely  for  his  abihty,  but  still 
more  for  his  dogged  perseverance  and  fi^Jiity  to  duty. 
Tradition  sayT'th'at^"  determined  to  put  in  all  the 
study  that  he  could,  he  persuaded  the  night  watch- 



man  to  wake  him  on  his  way  to  light  the  staves  at 
three  in  the  morning  by  pu]Hng  a  cord  that  Kosciuszko 
tied  to  his  left  hand.  His  colleagues  thought  that 
his  character  in  its  firmness  and  resolution  resembled 
that  of  Charles  XII  of  Sweden,  and  nicknamed  him 
"  Swede."  Truth  and  sincerity  breathed  in  his 
every  act  and  word.  What  he  said  he  meant.  What 
he  professed  he  did.  The  strength  that  was  in  him 
was  tempered  by  that  peculiar  sweetness  which  was 
native  to  him  all  his  life,  and  which  in  later  manhood 
drew  men  as  by  magic  to  his  banners,  even  as  in 
his  school-days  it  won  the  respect  and  love  of  his 
young  comrades.  The  esteem  in  which  his  fellow- 
cadets  held  him  is  illustrated  by  the  fact  that  on  an 
occasion  when  they  were  mortally  offended  by  some 
slight  put  upon  them  at  a  ball  in  the  town  they  chose 
Kosciuszko  as  their  spokesman  to  present  their 
grievances  to  the  King,  who  took  a  personal  interest 
in  the  school.  Something  about  the  youth  attracted 
the  brilliant,  highly  cultured  sovereign,  the  man 
who  wavered  according  to  the  emotion  or  fear  of 
the  moment  between  the  standpoint  of  a  patriot 
or  of  a  traitor.  After  that  interview  he  often  sent 
for  Tadeusz  ;  and  when  Kosciuszko  passed  out  of 
the  school  as  one  of  its  head  scholars  or  officers, 
he  was  recommended  to  Stanislas  Augustus  as  a 
recipient  of  what  we  should  call  a  State  travelUng 

In  1768  Kosciuszko's  mother  died,  leaving  her 
two  daughters  married,  the  eldest,  spendthrift,  and 
most  beloved  son  out  on  his  own,  and  Tadeusz  still 
a  cadet.  With  his  mother's  death  Kosciuszko's 
financial  troubles  began.  For  the  greater  part  of 
his  life  he  never  knew  what  it  was  to  have  a  sufficiency 


of  means.  His  brother  held  the  estate  and  apparently 
the  control  of  the  family  money,  that  was  no  consider- 
able sum  and  had  in  latter  years  diminished.  Public 
affairs,  moreover,  were  now  assuming  an  aspect  that 
threatened  the  very  existence  of  Kosciuszko's  country. 
Catherine  II's  minister,  Repnin,  with  Russian  armies 
at  his  back,  ruled  the  land.  The  Poles  who  stood 
forward  in  a  last  despairing  attempt  to  deUver  their 
country  were  removed  by  Russian  troops  to  exile 
and  Siberia.  Then  in  1768  rose  under  the  Pulaski 
father  and  sons  that  gallant  movement  to  save  a 
nation's  honour  that  is  known  as  the  Confederation 
of  Bar.  For  four  years  the  confederates  fought  in 
guerilla  warfare  all  over  Poland,  in  forest,  marsh, 
hamlet,  against  the  forces  of  Russia  which  held 
every  town  and  fortress  in  the  country.  These 
things  were  the  last  that  Kosciuszko  saw  of  the  old 
Repubhc  of  Poland.  In  the  company  of  his  friend 
Orlowski,  who  had  been  one  of  four  cadets  to  receive 
the  King's  stipend,  he  departed  from  his  country  in 
1769  or  1770  with  the  intention  of  pursuing  his 
studies  abroad. 

Five  years  passed  before  Kosciuszko  saw  his  native 
land  again.  Very  little  is  known  to  us  of  that  stage 
of  his  history.  It  is  certain  that  he  studied  in  the 
school  of  engineering  and  artillery  in  M6zi^res  and 
conceivably  in  the  Ecole  Militaire  of  Paris.  He 
took  private  lessons  in  afchitecture  from  Perronet, 
and  followed  up  his  strong  taste  for  drawing  and 
painting.  Sketches  from  his  hand  still  remain, 
guarded  as  treasures  in  Pohsh  national  museums. 
French  fortifications  engaged  his  close  attention, 
and  by  the  time  he  left  France  he  had  acquired  the 
skill  in  miUtary  engineering  that  saved  a  campaign 


in  the   New   World   and  that   defended   Warsaw  in 

the  Old. 

It  is  said  that  Kosciuszko  prolonged  his  absence 
abroad  rather  than  return  to  see  the  enslavement 
of  his  country  without  being  able  to  raise  a  hand  in 
her  defence.  For  in  1772  Russia,  Austria,  and  Prussia 
signed  an  agreement  to  partition  Poland  between 
them,  which,  after  a  desperate  resistance  on  the  part 
of  the  PoHsh  Diet,  was  carried  out  in  1775.  Austria 
secured  Gahcia,  Prussia  a  part  of  Great  Poland  and, 
with  the  exception  of  Thorn  and  Danzig,  what  has 
since  been  known  as  "  Prussian  "  Poland,  while  to 
Russia  fell  the  whole  of  Lithuania. 

All  this  Kosciuszko  watched  from  afar  in  helpless 
rage  and  bitterness  of  soul.  His  peace  of  mind  was 
further  destroyed  by  his  increasing  financial  difficul- 
ties. Little  enough  of  his  share  of  his  father's  fortune 
could  have  remained  to  him,  and  he  was.  in  debt. 
The  Royal  subsidy  had  ceased  when  the  treasury 
was  ruined  by  reason  of  the  partition  of  Poland. 
Moreover,  Stanislas  Augustus  was  never  a  sure  source 
on  which  to  rely  when  it  came  to  the  question  of 
*  keeping  a  promise  or  paying  his  dues.  The_greater 
part  ofKosciuszko's  career  is  that  of  a  rnan  pitted 
against  the  weight  of  adverse  circumstance.  It 
was  inevrtabTeTHaTIie  who  threw  in  his  lot  with  an 
unhappy  country  could  have  no  easy  passage  through 
life.  In  this  he  resembles  more  than  one  of  the 
national  heroes  of  history ;  but  unhke  many  another, 
he  never_rea£b£d_thejesired  goal.  His  is  the 
traged^f  _a^plendid  and  forlorn  hope.  Even  apart 
from  the  story  of  his  pubhc  service  his  hfe  was 
dogged  by  disappointment  and  harassing  care. 
Somewhere  in  the  year  1774  he  at  last  returned 


home.  A  youth  of  twenty-eight,  possessed  of  striking 
talent  and  freshly  acquired  science,  he  now,  with 
his  fiery  patriotism  and  character  as  resolute  as 
ardent,  found  himself  in  the  country  that  he  panted 
to  serve  condemned  to  inaction  of  the  most  galling 
description.  The  King  who  had  been  his  patron 
was  the  tool  of  Catherine  II  and  through  her  of  Russia. 
Russian  soldiers  and  officials  overran  even  that 
part  of  Poland  which  still  remained  nominally  in- 
dependent, but  of  which  they  were  virtual  masters. 
There  was  no  employment  open  to  Kosciuszko. 
A  commission  in  the  minute  army  that  survived 
the  partition  was  only  to  be  had  by  purchase,  and 
he  had  no  money  forthcoming.  All  that  he  could 
do  was  to  retire  into  the  country,  while  he  devoted 
his  energies  to  the  thankless  task  of  disentangling  the 
finances  that  the  elder  brother,  Jozef  Kosciuszko,  was 
squandering  right  and  left  in  debts  and  dissipation. 
The  relations  between  this  riotous  brother  and  Tadeusz, 
himself  the  most  frugal  and  upright  of  j'ouths,  were 
so  painful  that  the  latter  refused  to  remain  in  the 
old  home  that  had  not  yet  gone,  as  it  did  later,  to 
Jozef 's  creditors.  He  therefore  in  true  PoHsh  fashion 
took  up  his  abode  in  the  houses  of  different  kinsfolk, 
often  staying  with  his. married  sisters,  and  especially 
with  that  best  beloved  sister,  Anna  Estkowa.  Between 
him  and  her  there  was  always  the  bond  of  a  most 
tender  and  intimate  affection,  to  which  their  letters, 
still  preserved  in  Polish  archives,  bear  eloquent 

At  this  time  occurred  the  first  love  affair  of  the 
hero,  who  never  married.  Among  the  manor-houses 
that  KosciuszkoT  visited  was  that  of  Jozef  Sosnowski. 
He   was   Kosciuszko's   kinsman   and   had   been   his 



father's  friend.  Tadeusz  was  a  constant  guest  at 
his  house,  giving  lessons  in  drawing,  mathematics, 
and  history,  his  favourite  subjects,  to  the  daughters 
of  tTTe^Tibuse  by  way  of  return  for  their  father's 
hospitahty.  With  one  of  these  girls,  Ludwika, 
Kosciuszko  fell  in  love.  Various  tender  passages 
passed  between  them,  without  the  knowledge  of 
the  parents  but  aided  and  abetted  by  the  young 
people  of  the  family,  in  an  arbour  in  the  garden. 
But  another  destiny  was  preparing  for  the  lady. 
The  young  and  poor  engineer's  aspirations  to  her 
hand  were  not  tolerated  by  the  father  whose  ambition 
.had  already  led  him  into  dealings  that  throw  no 
very  creditable  light  on  his  patriotism,  and  that  had 
Kosciuszko  known  he  would  certainly  never  have 
frequented  his  house.  Over  the  gaming  tables 
Sosnowski  had  made  a  bargain  with  his  opponent, 
a  palatine  of  the  Lubomirski  family,  in  which  it 
was  arranged  that  the  latter's  son  should  marry 
j^dwika  Sosnowska.  Getting  wind  of  the  Kosciuszko 
romance,  hFpnvately  bade  the  girl's  mother  remove 
her  from  the  scenes  ;  and  when  one  day  Kosciuszko 
arrived  at  the  manor  he  found  the  ladies  gone. 

The  bitter  affront  and  the  disappointment  to 
his  affections  were  accepted  by  Kosciuszko  \dth  the 
silent  dignity  that  belonged  to  his  character  ;  but 
they  played  their  part  in  driving  him  out  of  Poland. 
Whether  the  story  that  Ludwika  really  fled  to  take 
refuge  from  the  detested  marriage  imposed  upon 
her  in  a  convent,  w^hence  she  was  dragged  by  a  ruse 
and  forced  to  the  bridal  altar,  as  long  afterwards 
she  told  Kosciuszko,  was  a  romantic  invention  of 
her  own  or  an  embroidery,  after  the  fashion  of  her 
century,  on  some  foundation  of  fact,  it  is  impossible 

.      THE   YOUTH   OF   KOSCIUSZKO  35 

to  say ;  but  it  is  certain  that  through  her  unhappy 
married  life  she  clung  fondly  to  the  memory  of  her 
first  and  young  lover.  So  long  after  the  rupture 
as  fourteen  j^ears  his  name  was  a  forbidden  topic 
between  herself  and  her  mother,  and  at  a  critical 
moment  in  Kosciuszko's  career  we  shall  find  her 
stepping  in  to  use  her  rank  and  position  with  Stanislas 
Augustus  on  his  behalf. 

With  home,  fortune,  hopes  of  domestic  happiness, 
all  chance  of  serving  his  country,  gone,  Kosciuszko 
determined  to  seek  another  sphere.  He  left  Poland 
in  the  autumn  of  1775. 

Poverty  constrained  him  to  make  the  journey  in 
the  cheapest  manner  possible.  He  therefore  went 
down  the  Vistula  in  a  barge,  one  of  the  picturesque 
flat-bottomed  craft  that  still  ply  on  Poland's  greatest 
river — the  river  which  flows  through  two  of  her 
capitals  and  was,  it  is  well  said,  partitioned  with  the 
land  it  waters  from  the  Carpathians  to  the  Baltic, 
On  his  way  down  the  river  he  would,  observes  his 
chief  Polish  biographer,  have  seen  for  the  first  time, 
and  not  the  last,  the  evidence  before  his  eyes  that 
his  country  lay  conquered  as  his  boat  passed  the 
Prussian  cordon  over  waters  that  once  were  Polish. 
Thus  he  came  down  to  the  quaint  old  port  of  Danzig, 
with  its  stately  old-world  burgher  palaces  and  heavily 
carved  street  doors,  then  still  Poland's,  but  which 
Prussia  was  only  biding  her  time  to  seize  in  a  fresh 
dismemberment  of  Polish  territory. 

Dead  silence  surrounds  the  following  six  months 
of  Kosciuszko's  life.  Every  probability  points  to 
the  fact  that  he  would  have  gone  to  Paris,  where  he 
had  studied  so  long  and  where  he  had  many  friends 
and  interests.     The  envoys  from  America  were  there 


on  the  mission  of  enlisting  the  help  of  France  in  the 
conflict  of  the  States  with  Great  Britain.  We  do 
not  know  whether  Kosciuszko  became  personally 
acquainted  with  any  of  them.  At  all  events  the 
air  was  full  of  the  story  of  a  young  country  striving 
for  her  independence  ;  and  it  is  not  surprising  that 
when  next  the  figure  of  Kosciuszko  stands  out  clearly 
in  the  face  of  history  it  is  as  a  volunteer  offering  his 
sword  to  the  United  States  to  fight  in  the  cause  of 



In  the  early  summer  of  1776  Kosciuszko  crossed 
the  Atlantic  on  the  journey  to  America  that  was 
then  in  the  hkeness  of  a  pilgrimage  to  a  wholly 
strange  land.  He  found  the  country  palpitating  in 
the  birth-throes  of  a  nation  rising  to  her  own.  Not 
only  was  she  carrying  on  the  contest  with  Great 
Britain  by  arms,  but  democratic  resolutions,  appeals 
for  freedom  for  all  men,  were  being  read  in  the 
churches,  proclaimed  at  every  popular  gathering. 
What  a  responsive  chord  all  this  struck  in  Kosciuszko 's 
heart  we  know  from  his  subsequent  history. 

His  best  documented  historian  ruthlessly  dis- 
misses the  story  that  the  Pole  presented  him.self  to 
Washington  with  the  one  request  that  he  might 
fight  for  American  independence,  and  that  in  reply 
to  Washington's  query,  "  What  can  I  do  for  you  ?  " 
his  terse  reply  was,  "  Try  me."  As  a  matter  of  fact 
he  appHed  to  the  Board  of  War,  and  his  first  employ- 
ment was  in  the  old  Quaker  city  of  Philadelphia 
where,  in  company  with  another  foreign  engineer, 
a  Frenchman,  he  was  put  to  work  fortifying  the 
town  against  the  British  fleet's  expected  attack  by 
the   Delaware.     These  fortifications   of  his   devising 

still  remain.     They  gained  for  him  his  nomination 



by  Congress  as  engineer  in  the  service  of  the  States 
and  the  rank  of  colonel. 

After  some  months  passed  in  Philadelphia,  Kos- 
ciuszko  was  taken  over  by  Gates  for  the  northern 
army,  and  sent  to  report  upon  the  defences  of* 
Ticonderoga  and  Sugar  Loaf  Hill.  Gates  highly 
approved  of  his  proposed  suggestion  of  building  a 
battery  upon  the  summit  of  Sugar  Loaf  Hill ;  but 
at  this  moment  Gates  was  relieved  of  his  command, 
and  Kosciuszko's  ideas  were  set  aside  for  those  of 
native  Americans  to  whom  his  plan  was  an  unheard- 
of  innovation.  The  authorities  soon  saw  their  mis- 
take. "  For  the  love  of  God  let  Kosciuszko  return 
here,"  wrote  Wilkinson  when  sent  by  the  commander 
to  inspect  the  work,  "  and  as  quickly  as  possible." 
But  it  was  then  too  late.  The  English  fleet  was  on 
Lake  Champlain,  and  Kosciuszko's  design  was 
vindicated  by  the  British  carrying  it  out  themselves. 
He,  meanwhile,  was  fortifying  Van  Schaick,  with  the 
result  that  the  army  of  the  States,  retreating  in 
disorder  before  Burgoyne,  could  retire  on  a  safe 
position,  Kosciuszko's  personal  privations  and  dis- 
comforts were  considerable.  He  did  not  so  much 
as  possess  a  blanket,  and  had  perforce  to  sleep  with 
Wilkinson  under  his.  He  was  then  sent  on  by 
Gates,  who  was  again  in  command,  to  throw  up 
fortifications  in  the  defence  of  Saratoga. 

With  justifiable  pride  the  Poles  point  to  the  part 
played  by  their  national  hero  in  the  victory  at 
Saratoga  which  won  for  America  not  only  the  cam- 
paign, but  her  recognition  as  an  independent  nation 
from  Louis  XVL  The  Americans  on  their  side 
freely  acknowledged  that  Kosciuszko's  work  turned 
the  scale  in  their  favour.     Gates  modestly  diverted 



the  flood  of  congratulations  of  which  he  was  the 
recipient  by  the  observation  that  "  the  hills  and 
woods  were  the  great  strategists  which  a  young 
Polish  engineer  knew  how  to  select  with  skill  for 
my  camp " ;  and  his  official  report  to  Congress 
states  that  "  Colonel  Kosciuszko  chose  and  en- 
trenched the  position,"  Addressing  the  President 
of  Congress  at  the  end  of  the  year  1777,  Washington, 
speaking  of  the  crying  necessity  of  engineers  for  the 
army,  adds  :  "  I  would  take  the  liberty  to  mention 
that  I  have  been  well  informed  that  the  engineer 
in  the  northern  army  (Kosciuszko  I  think  his  name 
is)  is  a  gentleman  of  science  and  merit."  ^  The  plan 
of  the  fortifications  that  saved  Saratoga  is  preserved 
in  Kosciuszko 's  own  hand  among  Gates's  papers, 
and  traces  of  them  could  as  late  as  1906  be  still 
discerned  among  beds  of  vegetables. 

That  winter  of  the  war — 1777-1778 — was  famous 
for  its  length  and  its  intolerable  severity.  The 
American  soldiers  suffered  from  all  the  miseries  of 
hunger  and  cold  and  insufficient  pay,  Kosciuszko,  to 
whom  the  piercing  rigour  of  the  climate  must  have 
seemed  as  a  familiar  visitant  from  his  northern 
Lithuanian  home,  was  on  the  borders  of  Canada 
when  he  heard  of  the  arrival  in  Trenton  of  a  Pole, 
famous,  as  Kosciuszko  himself  as  yet  was  not,  in 
the  national  records  of  Poland — Kazimierz  Pulaski. 
With  his  father,  brothers,  and  cousin,  Pulaski  had 
led  the  war  of  the  Bar  Confederation,  He  alone 
survived  his  family.  His  father  died  in  prison, 
suspected  by  his  confederates  ;  his  brothers  fell  in 
battle,  or  in  their  turn  breathed  their  last  in  prison. 
Ignorant  of  fear  and  gaily  risking  all  for  his  country, 

'  Jared  Sparks,  Writings  of  George  Washington.     Boston,  1847. 


Kazimierz  carried  on  the  struggle  without  them. 
Pursued  on  all  sides  by  the  Russians,  he  performed 
almost  incredible  feats  of  doubhng  and  unheard-of 
marches :  leading  his  troops  in  the  Ukrainian 
steppes,  escaping  to  the  Carpathians,  reappearing 
in  Great  Poland,  fighting  on  until  the  last  doomed 
defence  of  Czenstochowa,  after  which  he  was  seen 
no  more  in  Poland.  In,  Paris  he  met  Benjamin 
Franklin  and  other  envoys  of  the  States,  and,  like 
Kosciuszko,  he  set  sail  to  fight  for  liberty  in  the 
New  World. 

AfChristmas  time  in  that  bitter  winter  Kosciuszko 
came  out  on  furlough  through  the  wild  snowbound 
land  to  Trenton,  impelled  by  desire  to  see  the  Pole 
whom  he  knew  well  by  repute,  and  by  the  craving 
to  hear  news  of  his  country  from  the  first  compatriot 
who  had  come  across  his  path  in  the  New  World. 
They  had  not  known  each  other  in  Poland,  for 
Kosciuszko  had  been  a  youth  engaged  in  his  studies 
at  home  and  abroad  while  the  Bar  confederates 
were  fighting ;  but  for  the  love  of  Poland  they  met 
as  brothers.  Kosciuszko  stayed  ten  days  with 
Pulaski  and  his  Polish  companion,  entertained, 
despite  their  poverty,  in  true  Pohsh  style,  and  then 
returned  to  his  quarters.  Probably  on  the  way 
to  or  from  Trenton  he  turned  aside  to  Valley  Forge 
to  make  the  acquaintance  of  Lafayette,  who  had 
come  over  to  America  with  Pulaski,  and  it  is  possible 
that  on  this  occasion  he  may  have  met  Washington. 
He  never  saw  Pulaski  again,  for,  leading  a  headlong 
charge  with  the  fiery  impetus  of  the  Polish  knight 
of  old,  the  leader  of  Bar  fell  at  Savannah  in  October 

The  question  of  the  defence  of  the  Hudson  was 


now  being  agitated.  West  Point,  the  so-called 
Gibraltar  of  the  Hudson,  was  chosen  for  its  com- 
manding position  on  the  heights  above  the  river, 
and  the  work  of  fortifying  it  was  finally  conferred, 
over  the  head  of  the  French  engineer,  Radiere,  upon 
Kosciuszko.  "  Mr.  Kosciuszko,"  wrote  McDougall, 
the  general  now  in  command  of  the  northern  army, 
to  Washington,  Gates  being  employed  at  the  Board 
of  War,  "  is  esteemed  by  those  who  have  attended 
the  works  at  West  Point  to  have  more  practice 
than  Colonel  Radiere,  and  his  manner  of  treating 
the  people  is  more  acceptable  than  that  of  the  latter  ; 
which  induced  General  Parsons  and  Governor  CHnton 
to  desire  the  former  may  be  continued  at  West  Point."  ^ 
Washington  acceded  to  McDougall's  request  and 
confirmed  the  appointment  to  the  Pole,  not  only 
because  he  was  the  cleverer  engineer,  but  especially, 
adds  Washington,  because  "  you  say  Kosciuszko 
is  better  adapted  to  the  genius  and  temper  of  the 
people."^  A  few  months  later  Washington  ordered 
Kosciuszko  to  submit  his  plans  to  the  approval  of 
an  inferior  officer.  Kosciuszko,  who  never  sought' 
distinction  or  pushed  his  own  claims,  did  not  permit 
himself  to  resent  what  was,  in  fact,  a  sHght  ;  but 
quietly  went  forward  in  his  own  thorough  and  pains- 
taking manner  with  the  business  entrusted  to  him. 
Kosciuszko's  work  at  West  Point  was  the  longest 
and  the  most  important  of  his  undertakings  in  the 
United  States,  and  is  inseparably  connected  in  the 
American  mind  with  his  name.  Little  is  now  left 
of  his  fortifications  ;  but  the  monument  raised  in 
his  honour  by  the  American  youth,  with  the  inscrip- 

I  Jared  Sparks,   Writings  of  George  Washington. 
»  Ibid. 


tion :  "  To  the  hero  of  two  worlds  "  remains,  a  grate- 
ful tribute  to  his  memory.  That  the  military 
students  of  the  United  States  can  look  back  to  West 
Point  as  their  Alma  Mater  is  in  great  measure 
Kosciuszko's  doing.  When  it  was  first  resolved 
to  found  a  training  school  in  arms  for  the  young 
men  of  the  States,  Kosciuszko  urged  that  it  should 
be  placed  at  West  Point,  and  suggested  the  spot 
where  it  now  stands. 

Kosciuszko  was  at  West  Point  for  two  years. 
Here,  if  we  do  not  accept  the  legends  and  conjectures 
of  former  meetings,  he  met  Washington  for  the  first 
time.  He  had  two  thousand  five  hundred  work- 
men under  him,  whom  he  treated  with  the  courtes}^ 
and  consideration  that  always  distinguished  his 
dealings  with  his  fellow-men,  whether  his  equals  or 
subordinates.  The  story  goes  that  with  his  own 
"  hands,  assisted  by  his  American  workmen,  he  built 
himself  some  sort  of  cottage  or  shanty  in  the  hope 
of  one  day  receiving  his  own  countrymen  as  his 
guests.  One  of  his  modern  Polish  biographers  often 
heard  in  his  youth  a  song  purporting  to  be  Kos- 
ciuszko's composition,  with  the  tradition  that  he 
had  composed  it  to  his  guitar — he  played  both  the 
guitar  and  the  violin — on  the  arrival  of  Polish 
visitors. I  The  doggerel,  kindly  little  verses,  express 
the  hope  that  everything  his  compatriots  see  in  his 
modest  house  will  be  as  agreeable  to  them  as  their 
company  is  to  their  host,  and  inform  them  that  he 
raised  its  walls  with  the  purpose  of  welcoming  them 
therein.  It  is  a  fact  that,  true  to  the  Pole's  passion 
for  the  soil,  he  laid  out  a  little  garden,  still  known 

I  F.  Rychlicki,  Tadeusz   Kosciuszko  and  the  Partition  of  Poland. 
Cracow,   1875  (Polish). 


as  "  Kosciuszko's  Garden,"  where  he  loved  to  spend 
his  leisure  hours,  alone  with  his  thoughts  of  Poland. 
Times  were  hard  at  West  Point  and  provisions  scanty. 
Washington  himself  could  not  sufficiently  furnish 
his  table,  and  Kosciuszko  naturally  fared  worse  ; 
but  out  of  the  pay  that  he  could  ill  afford  and  from 
his  own  inadequate  stores  the  Pole  constantly  sent 
provisions  to  the  English  prisoners,  whose  misery 
was  extreme.  It  is  said,  indeed,  that  had  it  not 
been  for  Kosciuszko's  succour  our  prisoners  would 
have  died  of  want.  Many  years  later  a  Pole,  who 
collected  the  details  of  Kosciuszko's  American  ser- 
vice, fell  sick  of  fever  in.  Australia.  An  EngHsh 
shopkeeper  took  him  into  his  house  and  tended  him 
as  though  he  were  his  own — for  the  reason  that  he 
was  a  compatriot  of  the  man  who  had  saved  the 
hfe  of  the  Enghshman's  grandfather  when  the  latter 
was  a  starving  prisoner  at  West  Point. 

The  West  Point  episode  of  Kosciuszko's  career 
came  to  its  end  in  the  summer  of  1780,  when  he 
asked  Washington  to  transfer  him  to  the  southern 
army.  The  motive  of  the  request  was  that,  with- 
out having  given  Kosciuszko  notice,  Washington 
had  removed  a  number  of  his  workmen.  The  corre- 
spondence that  passed  between  them  was  courteous 
but  dry,  Kosciuszko  avoiding  acrimonious  expres- 
sions, and  simply  stating  that  under  the  present 
conditions  he  could  no  longer  carry  on  the  work  at 
West  Point.  The  relations  between  the  liberator  of 
America  and  the  champion  of  Poland's  freedom  were, 
indeed,  never  of  the  nature  exacted  by  romance. 
They  were  confined  to  strict  necessity,  and  held 
none  of  the  affection  that  marked  the  intercourse 
of   Gates   and   Nathaniel   Greene   with   their   Polish 


engineer.  The  precise  reason  of  this  is  hard  to 
fathom.  It  has  been  ascribed  to  Kosciuszko's 
intimacy  with  Gates,  Washington's  adversary,  or, 
again,  to  Kosciuszko's  extreme  reserve — which  latter 
conjecture,  in  view  of  the  warm  and  enduring 
friendships  that  the  hero  of  Poland  won  for  him- 
self in  the  New  World,  seems  untenable. 

Gates,  now  nominated  to  the  command  of  the 
southern  army,  had  at  once  requested  that  Ko^- 
ciuszko  should  be  sent  to  him.  "  The  perfect 
qualities  of  that  Pole,"  he  wrote  to  Jefferson,  "  are 
now  properly  appreciated  at  headquarters,  and 
may  incline  other  personages  to  putting  obstacles 
against  his  joining  us  ;  but  if  he  has  once  promised 
we  can_depend^  upon  him." 

Washington  gave  the  required  permission,  to 
which  Kosciuszko  replied  from  West  Point  on 
August  4th  : 

"  The  choice  your  Excellency  was  pleased  to 
give  me  in  your  letter  of  yesterday  is  very  kind  ; 
and,  as  the  completion  of  the  works  at  this  place 
during  this  campaign,  as  circumstances  are,  will 
be  impossible  in  my  opinion,  I  prefer  going  to  the 
southward  to  continuing  here.  I  beg  you  to  favour 
me  with  your  orders,  and  a  letter  of  recommen- 
dation to  the  Board  of  War,  as  I  shall  pass  through 
Philadelphia.  I  shall  wait  on  your  Excellency  to 
pay  due  respects  in  a  few  days."  ^ 

A  French  engineer  took  Kosciuszko's  place,  and 
the  latter  had  not  long  left  when  the  treachery  of 
the  new  commandant  of  West  Point,  Arnold,  was 
disclosed  by  the  capture  of  Andre.  Before  Kosciuszko 
had  time  to  reach  the  southern  army  his  old  friend 

'  Jared  Sparks,   Writings  of  George  Washington. 


Gates  was  defeated  at  Camden,  and  in  consequence 
disgraced.  Nathaniel  Greene,  after  Washington  the 
greatest  general  of  the  American  Revolution,  was 
appointed  his  successor.  While  awaiting  Greene's 
arrival  to  take  up  his  command  Kosciuszko  was 
for  some  time  in  Virginia  among  the  planters.  He 
thus  saw  the  coloured  slaves  at  close  quarters,  and 
was  brought  face  to  face  with  the  horrors  of  the 
slave  trade.  It  was  probably  then  that,  with  his 
strong  susceptibiUty  to  every  form  of  human  suffer- 
ing, he  learnt  that  profound  sympathy  for  the 
American  negro  which,  seventeen  years  later,  dic- 
tated his  parting  testament  to  the  New  World. 

Through  the  whole  campaign  of  the  Carolinas, 
the  most  brilHant  and  the  most  hardly  won  of  the 
American  War,  Kosciuszko  was  present.  When 
Greene  arrived  he  found  himself  at  the  head  of  an 
army  that  was  starving.  His  troops  had  literally 
not  enough  clothing  required  for  the  sake  of  decency. 
He  was  without  money,  without  resources.  He 
resolved  to  retire  upon  the  unknown  Pedee  river. 
Immediately  upon  his  arrival  he  sent  Kosciuszko 
up  the  river  with  one  guide  to  explore  its  reaches 
and  to  select  a  suitable  spot  for  a  camp  of  rest, 
charging  him  with  as  great  celerity  as  he  could 
compass.  Kosciuszko  rapidly  acquitted  himself  of 
a  task  that  was  no  easy  matter  in  that  waste  of 
forest  and  marsh.  In  the  words  of  an  American 
historian  :  "  The  surveying  of  the  famous  Kos- 
ciuszko on  the  Pedee  and  Catawba  had  a  great 
influence  on  the  further  course  of  the  campaign." 
The  campaign  was  carried  on  in  a  wild  country  of 
deep,  roaring  rivers,  broken  by  falls,  and  often 
visited  by  sudden  floods.     The  frequently  impassable 


swamps  breathed  out  poisonous  exhalations.  Rattle- 
snakes and  other  deadly  reptiles  lurked  by  the 
wayside.  Great  were  the  hardships  that  Kosciuszko, 
together  Avith  the  rest  of  the  army,  endured.  There 
were  no  regular  suppHes  of  food,  tents  and  blankets 
ran  out,  the  soldiers  waded  waist-deep  through 
rushing  waters.  Often  invited  to  Greene's  table, 
where  the  general  entertained  his  officers  with  a 
kindliness  and  cordiality  that  atoned  for  the  poor 
fare  which  was  all  that  he  could  offer  them,  Kos- 
ciuszko was  regarded  with  strong  affection  and 
admiration  by  a  man  who  was  himself  worthy  of 
the  highest  esteem.  Kosciuszko's  office,  after  the 
survey  of  the  river,  was  to  build  boats  for  the  perilous 
transport  of  the  armjr  over  the  treacherous  and 
turbulent  streams  of  the  district.  Greene  writes  : 
"  Kosciuszko  is  emplo^^ed  in  building  fiat-bottomed 
boats  to  be  transported  with  the  army  if  ever  I 
shall  be  able  to  command  the  means  of  transporting 
them."  ^  The  boats  of  Kosciuszko's  devising  con- 
tributed to  the  saving  of  Greene's  army  in  that 
wonderful  retreat  from  Cornwallis,  which  is  among 
the  finest  exploits  of  the  War  of  Independence. 
Again  his  skill  came  prominently  forward  when 
Greene  triumphantly  passed  the  Dan  with  Cornwalhs 
on  his  heels,  and  thus  definitely  threw  off  the  British 
pursuit.  Kosciuszko  was  then  despatched  to  fortify 
Halifax,  but  was  soon  recalled  to  assist  in  the  siege 
of  Ninety  Six,  a  fort  built  with  heavy  stockades 
originally  as  a  post  of  defence  against  the  Red 
Indians.  The  night  before  the  siege  began  Greene 
with    Kosciuszko   surveyed   the   English   works.     It 

»  William    Johnson,  Sketches  of  the  Life  and  Correspondence  oj 
Nathaniel  Greene.     Charleston,  1822. 


was  dark  and  rainy,  and  they  approached  the  enemy 
so  close  that  they  were  challenged  and  fired  at  by 
the  sentries.  The  mining  operations  that  Kosciuszko 
directed  were  of  an  almost  insuperable  difficulty, 
and  his  Virginian  militiamen  struck.  By  his  per- 
suasive and  sympathetic  language  Kosciuszko  ralhed 
them  to  the  work  ;  but  finally  Greene  abandoned 
the  siege. 

When  the  campaign  changed  to  guerilla  warfare 
Kosciuszko  fought  as  a  soldier,  not  as  an  engin'feer. 
At  the  battle  of  Eutaw  Springs,  where  the  licence 
of  the  American  soldiers  pillaging  the  British  camp 
and  murdering  the  prisoners  lost  Greene  a  decisive 
victory,  we  hear  of  Kosciuszko  as  making  desperate 
attempts  to  restrain  a  carnage  which  horrified  his 
humane  feehngs,  and  personally  saving  the  Hves 
of  fifty  Enghshmen,  Peace  and  the  defeat  of 
Great  Britain  were  in  the  air,  but  hostilities  still 
dragged  on,  and  Kosciuszko  fought  through  1782 
near  Charleston  with  distinction.  After  the  gallant 
Laurens  had  fallen,  his  post  of  managing  the  secret 
intelligence  from  Charleston  passed  to  Kosciuszko. 
"  Kosciuszko's  innumerable  communications,"  says 
the  grandson  and  biographer  of  Greene,  "  exhibit 
the  industry  and  intelligence  \vith  which  he  dis- 
charged that  service."  ^  Kosciuszko  possessed  all 
the  Pohsh  daring  and  Jove  of  adventure.     He  would  Cl 

sally  forth  to^carrjTblTthe^nglisir'horses  and  cattle 
that  were  sent  to  pasture  under  guard,  protected 
by  English  guns  from  the  fort.  He  succeeded  in 
capturing  horses,  but  the  cattle  were  too  closely 
protected.     Or,  accompanied  by  an  American  officer 

•  George   Washington   Greene,   Life   of    Nathaniel  Greene.      New 
York,   1 87 1. 


named  Wilmot,  he  would  cross  the  river  to  watch 
or  harry  the  EngHsh  on  James'  Island.  One  of 
these  expeditions,  when  Kosciuszko  and  his  com- 
panion attacked  a  party  of  English  woodcutters, 
has  the  distinction  of  being  the  last  occasion  on 
which  blood  was  shed  in  the  American  War.  They 
were  surprised  by  an  ambuscade,  and  Wilmot  was 
killed.  At  length  Charleston  fell.  On  December  14, 
1782,  the  American  army  entered  the  town  in  a 
triumphal  procession,  in  which  Kosciuszko  rode 
with  his  feliow-ofhcers,  greeted  by  the  populace 
with  flowers  and  fluttering  kerchiefs  and  cries  of 
"  Welcome  !  "  and  "  God  bless  you  !  "  Greene's  wife, 
a  sprightly  lady  who  kept  the  camp  ahve,  had  joined 
him  outside  Charleston.  Her  heart  was  set  on 
celebrating  the  evacuation  of  Charleston  by  a  ball, 
and,  although  her  Quaker  husband  playfully  com- 
plained that  such  things  were  not  in  his  line,  she 
had  her  way.  The  ball-room  was  decorated  by 
Kosciuszko,  who  adorned  it  with  festoons  of  mag- 
nolia leaves  and  with  flowers  cunningly  fashioned 
of  paper. 

Peace  with  England  was  now  attained.  Kosciuszko 
had  fought  for  six  years  in  the  American  army. 
The  testimony  of  the  eminent  soldier  in  whose 
close  companionship  he  had  served,  whose  hard- 
ships he  had  shared,  whose  warmest  friendship 
he  had  won,  that  of  Nathaniel  Greene,  best  sums 
up  what  the  Pole  had  done  for  America  and  what 
he  had  been  to  his  brother-soldiers.  "  Colonel 
Kosciuszko  belonged  " — thus  Greene — "  to  the  num- 
ber of  my  most  useful  and  dearest  comrades  in 
arms.  I  can  liken  to  nothing  his  zeal  in  the  pubhc 
service,  and  in  the  solution  of  important  problems 


nothing  could  have  been  more  helpful  than  his 
jiidgment,  vigilance  and  diligence.  In  the  execution 
of  niy  recommendations  in  every  department  of 
the  service  he  was  always  eager,  capable,  in  one 
word  impervious  against  every  temptation  to  ease, 
unwearied  by  any  labour,  fearless  of  every  danger. 
He  was  greatly  distinguished  for  his  unexampled 
modesty  and  entire  unconsciousness  that  he  had 
done  anything  unusual.  He  never  manifested  desires 
or  claims  for  himself,  and  never  let  any  opportunity 
pass  of  calling  attention  to  and  recommending  the 
merits  of  others."  ^  All  those  who  had  been  thrown 
together  with  him  in  the  war  speak  in  much  the 
same  manner.  They  notice  his  sweejtness  and  up- 
rightness of  soul,  his  high-mindedness  and  delicate 
instincts,  his  careful  thought  for  the  men  under 
his  command.  Even  Harry  Lee  ("  Light  Horse 
Harry  "),  while  carping  at  Kosciuszko's  talents,  to 
the  lack  of  which,  with  no  justification,  he  ascribes 
Greene's  failure  before  Ninety  Six,  renders  tribute 
to  his  engaging  qualities  as  a  comrade  and  a  man. 
But  Kosciuszko's  services  did  not  in  the  first  instance 
receive  the  full  recognition  that  might  have  been 
expected  from  the  new  Republic.  He  alone  of  all 
the  superior  officers  of  the  Revolution  received 
no^jpromotion  other  than  that  given  wholesale^y 
Congress,  and  was  forced  to  apply  personally  to 
Washington  to  rectify  the  omission.  In  language 
not  too  cordial,  Washington  presented  his  request  to 
Congress,  which  conferred  upon  Kosciiiszko  the  rank 
of  brigadier-general  with  the  acknowledgment  of 
its  "  high  sense  of  his  long,  faithful  and  meritorious 
services."     The   recently   founded   patriotic    Society 

I  T.  Korzon,  KoUiuszko, 


of  the  Cincinnati,  of  which  Washington  was  the  first 
president,  elected  Kosciuszko  as  an  honoured  member. 
Its  broad  blue  and  white  ribbon  carrying  a  golden 
eagle  and  a  representation  of  Cincinnatus  before 
the  Roman  Senate,  with  the  inscription  :  "  Omnia 
relinquit  servare  Rempublicam,"  is  often  to  be  seen 
in  the  portraits  of  Kosciuszko,  suspended  on  his 

Kosciuszko  was  now  a  landowner  of  American 
soil,  by  virtue  of  the  grant  by  Congress  of  so  many 
acres  to  the  officers  who  had  fought  in  the  war. 
Friendship,  affluence,  a  tranquil  life  on  his  own 
property,  that  most  alluring  of  prospects  to  a  son 
of  a  race  which  loves  Mother  Earth  with  an  intense 
attachment,  lay  before  him  in  the  New  World. 
To  him  nothing  was  worth  the  Poland  that  he  had 
left  as  an  obscure  and  disappointed  youth. 

For  all  these  years  his  heart  had  clung  to  the 
memory  of  his  native  land.  On  the  rocks  of  West 
Point  he  had  walked  in  solitude  under  the  trees 
of  his  garden,  and  sat  by  the  fountain  which  is  still 
shown,  yearning  with  an  exile's  home-sickness  for 
his  country.  At  times,  probably  very  rarely  in 
days  of  long  and  difficult  transit  and  when  com- 
munications for  a  fighting-line  were  doubly  un- 
certain, letters  crossed  between  Kosciuszko  and 
friends  in  far-off  Poland.  "  Two  years  ago  I  had 
a  letter  from  him,"  wrote  Adam  Czartoryski  in  1778, 
as  he  requested  Benjamin  Franklin  to  ascertain 
what  had  become  of  the  youth  in  whom  he  had 
been  interested  ;  "  but  from  that  time  I  have  heard 
nothing  of  him."  ^  Some  sort  of  correspondence 
was  carried  on  by  Tadeusz  with  a  friend  and  neigh- 

I  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


bour  of  his  in  his  old  home,  Juhan  Niemcewicz,  the 
poet  and  future  pohtician,  lateFtTr''&e~ECosciuszko's 
companion  in  the  Rising  and  his  fellow-prisoner 
and  exile.  Niemcewicz,  wrote  the  Princess  Lubo- 
mirska  who  had  been  Ludwika  Sosnowska,  to 
Kosciuszko  in  America,  "  has  told  me  that  you 
are  alive,  he  gave  me  your  letter  to  read,  and  I 
in  my  turn  hasten  to  tell  you  through  Julian  that 
in  my  heart  I  am  unalterably  and  till  death  yours."  ^ 

This  letter,  the  same  in  which  the  lady  gives  the 
remarkable  account  of  her  marriage  to  which  we 
have  already  alluded,  left  Kosciuszko  cold.  That 
chapter  was  entirely  put  away  from  him.  The 
first  and  hopeless  romance  of  his  youth  had  naturally 
enough  been  driven  off  the  field  by  stirring  and 
strenuous  action  in  a  new  hemisphere.  Even  had 
this  not  been  the  case,  Kosciuszko  was  of  too  high 
a  moral  mould  to  cherish  a  passion  for  a  married 
woman.  His  relations  with_JJie__.Qther  sex  were  ! 
always  of  the  rnost  delicate,  most  courteous  and 
most  chivalrous ;  but,  admired  and  honoured  by 
women  as  he  invariably  was,  they  in  reality  enter 
but  little  in  his  life. 

Now  that  the  war  had  ended  Kosciuszko  only 
waited  to  wind  up  his  affairs  in  America,  and  then 
he  could  keep  away  from  his  country  no  longer. 
He  started  for  Europe  in  July  1784,  landed  in 
France,  and  by  way  of  Paris  reached  Poland  in  the 
same  year.  From  America  he  brought  an  enhanced 
attraction  to  the  democratic  ideas  that  were  gaining 
vogue  in  Europe,  and  wnich  fiaJST  had  a  hold  over 
him  from  his  youth.  Still  more,  he  had  seen  with 
his   own   eyes   the   miracle   of   a   national   struggle. 

I  op.  cit. 


He  had  fought  and  marched  side  by  side  with  ragged, 
starving,  undisciplined,  unpaid  men  who  had  carried 
off  the  victory  against  a  powerful  nation  and  a 
regular  army.  With  that  memory  burnt  into  his 
soul,  ten  years  later  he  led  a  more  desperate  throw 
for  a  freedom  to  him  incomparably  dearer — his 




When  Kosciuszko  returned  to  his  native  land,  that 
great  wave  of  a  nation's  magnificent  effort  to  save 
herself  by  internal  reform,  which  culminated  in  the 
Constitution  of  the  3rd  of  May,  was  sweeping  over 
Poland.  Equality  of  civic  rights,  freedom  of  the 
peasant,  a  liberal  form  of  government,  political  and 
social  reforms  of  all  descriptions,  were  the  questions 
of  the  hour.  The  first  Commission  of  Education  to 
be  established  in  Europe,  the  precursor  of  our  modern 
Ministry  of  Education,  that  had  been  opened  two 
years  before  Kosciuszko  left  Poland,  and  on  which 
sat  Ignacy  Potocki  and  Hugo  KoHontaj,  both  after- 
wards to  be  closely  associated  with  Kosciuszko  in 
his  war  for  national  independence,  was,  founding 
schools,  refounding  universities,  and  raising  the  level 
of  education  all  through  the  country.  Roads  were 
built,  factories  started,  agriculture  and  trade  given 
fresh  impetus.  A  literary  and  artistic  revival  set 
in,  warmly  encouraged  by  Stanislas  Augustus,  who 
gathered  painters,  musicians,  and  poets  around  him 
in  his  brilHant  court.  All  this  was  done  by  a  dis- 
membered nation  upon  whose  further  and  complete 
destruction    the    three     powers    that    had   already 

partitioned  her  were  resolved. 



Coincident  with  these  last  days  of  Poland's  political 
existence  that  hold  the  tragic  glory  of  a  setting  sun 
is  the  oue  tranquil  span^  oi  Kosciuszka'sjife.  His 
sister's  husbandlTad  managed  his  affairs  so  gener- 
ously and  so  well  that  his  old  home  had  been  saved 
for  him.  Here  Kosciuszko  for  four  years  led  the 
retired  life  which  was  most  to  his  taste,  that  of  a 
country  farmer  and  landowner  in  a  small  way,  his 
peace  only  disturbed  by  the  financial  worries  handed 
on  to  him  by  his  brother. 

Soldierly  simplicity  was  the  note  of  Kosciuszko 's 
rustic  countr}^  home.  The  living-room  was  set  out 
with  a  plain  old  table,  a  few  wooden  seats  and  an 
ancient  store  cupboard.  The  furniture  of  the  small 
sleeping  apartment  consisted  of  a  bed  and  by  its 
side  a  table  on  which  lay  Kosciuszko 's  papers  and 
books,  conspicuous  among  the  latter  being  the 
political  writings  of  the  great  contemporary  Polish 
reformers — Staszyc  and  Kollontaj — which  to  the 
Pole  of  Kosciuszko 's  temperament  were  bound  to 
be  fraught  with  burning  interest.  His  coffee  was 
served  in  a  cup  made  by  his  own  hand  ;  the  simple 
dishes  and  plates  that  composed  his  household  stock 
were  also  his  work,  for  the  arts  and  crafts  were 
always  his  favourite  hobbies.  Ah  old  cousin  looked 
after  the  housekeeping.  A  coachman  and  man- 
servant were  the  only  other  members  of  the  family. 
There  was  a  garden  well  stocked  with  fruit-trees 
that  was  the  delight  of  Kosciuszko 's  heart.  On  a 
hillock  covered  with  hazels  he  laid  out  walks,  put 
up  arbours  and  arranged  a  maze  that  wound  so 
craftily  among  the  thicket  that  the  visitor  who 
entered  it  found  no  easy  exit.  The  maze  may  still 
be   seen,    together   with   the   avenue   of   trees   that 



was  planted  by  Kosciuszko  himself.  His  interest 
in  his  domain  jwas  unfailing.  When  far  away  from 
home,  in  the  midst  of  his  military  preoccupations, 
while  commanding  in  the  Polish  army,  he  wrote 
minute  directions  to  his  sister  on  the  importation 
of  fresh  trees,  the  sowing  of  different  grains  on  the 

Although    Kosciuszko     was     an     ardent farmer, 

his  farm  brought  him  no  great  returns  ;  an^  this 
by  reason  of  the  sacrifices  that  he  made  to  his  prin- 
ciples. As  a  Polish  landowner  he  had  manj^  peasants 
working  on  his  property.  By  the  legislation  of  that 
day,  common  to  several  countries  besides  Poland, 
these  peasants  were  to  a  great  extent  under  his 
power,  and  were  compelled  to  the  corvee.  Such  a 
condition  of  things  was  intolerable  to  Kosciuszko. 
The  sufferings  of  his  fellow-men,  equal  rights  for  all, 
were  matters  that  ever  touched  him  most  nearly. 
Many  others  of  his  countrymen  were  earnestly 
setting  their  faces  against  this  abuse  of  serfdom 
and,  even  before  the  measure  was  passed  by  law, 
as  far  as  possible  liberating  the  serfs  on  their  estates. 
That  at  this  time  Kosciuszko  entirely  freed  some 
of  his  peasants  appears  certain.  It  was  not  then 
prjacticable  to  give  full  freedom  to  the  remainder  ; 
buflTe  reduced  the  forced  labour  of  all  the  men  on 
his  property  by  one-half,  and  that  of  the  women 
he  abolished  altogether.  His  personal  loss  was  con- 
siderable. He  was  not  a  rich  man.  His  stipend  from 
America,  for  one  cause  or  another,  never  reached 
him,  and  thanks  to  his  brother  his  private  means 
were  in  so  involved  a  condition  that  he  had  to 
summon  his  sister  to  his  help  and  contract  various 
loans  and  debts. 



This  favourite  sister,  Anna  Estkowa,  lived  not  far, 
as  distances  go  in  Poland,  from  Kosciuszko's  home. 
She  and  her  husband  and  son  were  often  guests  in 
Kosciuszko's  house,  and  he  in  hers.  She  frequently 
had  to  come  to  his  rescue  in  housekeeping  emergencies, 
and  the  correspondence  between  them  at  times  takes 
a  very  playful  note.  "  Little  sister,"  or  "  My  own 
dear  Httle  sister,"  alternates  with  the  title  used  by 
the  brother  in  jest :  "  Your  right  honourable  lady- 
ship." Or  again  he  calls  her  by  epithets  remarkable 
to  the  Enghsh  ear,  but  which  in  Lithuania  are  terms 
of  close  intimacy,  and  correspond  to  the  rough  and 
endearing  language  of  a  fondly  attached  brother 
and  sister  in  our  own  country.  He  sends  her  a 
packet  of  China  tea  or  a  wagon  filled  with  barley 
that  was  forced  to  turn  back  on  account  of  the  bad 
state  of  the  roads  ;  while  she  is  requested  to  buy 
him  "  about  four  bottles  of  Enghsh  beer  :  I  will 
pay  you  back  when  I  see  you."  Sometimes  she  is 
treated  to  a  friendly  scolding  when  she  fails  to  fulfil 
Kosciuszko's   commissions   to   his  liking. 

"  I  particularly  beg  you  to  try  and  get  [some 
furniture  he  required]  from  that  joiner  and  send 
it  to  me  on  the  first  of  May,  or  even  sooner.  .  .  . 
Come  and  stay  with  me  in  May.  I  will  give  you 
something  to  busy  yourself  with,  and  to  keep  you 
in  health.  You  must  send  some  money  to  Stanislas 
[her  son,  who  was  staying  with  Kosciuszko],  and 
enjoin  upon  him  to  manage  with  it,  but  it  would  be 
better  if  he  always  had  some  in  store.  You  are  a 
cow  :  and  why  did  you  not  buy  more  almonds  in 
their  shells,  or  at  least  four  spoons  ?  "  ^ 

"  My    Saint   Anna  "—thus   he   addresses    her   on 

I  Letters  of  Kosciuszko,  edited  by  L.  Siemienski,  Lwow,  1877  (Polish). 


another  occasion  :  "  I  have  sent  my  carts  for  the 
chairs  and  sofas.  ...  I  present  my  humble  respects 
to  the  Stolnik  [his  brother-in-law],  and  I  beg  him 
to  let  himself  be  persuaded  to  come  and  stay  for 
a  time  with  me,  if  only  to  smoke  one  pipe  over  my 
hearth.  I  beg  you  both  to  buy  me  two  fine  cows. 
Good-bye,  lapwings."  ^ 

■'  Little  sister  of  mine,"  he  writes  most  tenderly 
after  her  husband's  death  :  "  come  to  me,  I  beg 
you.  Take  a  carriage  to  Brzesc.  I  shall  be  there 
on  Sunday  for  my  cure,  as  Miiller  ordered  me  to  go 
there.  Otherwise  I  would  go  to  you.  You  must 
let  yourself  be  ruled  by  reason.  You  are  in  bad 
health,  I  am  in  bad  health  :  do  you  wish  to  drive 
me  into  the  grave  by  your  extravagant  conduct  ? 
You  must  watch  over  your  health  for  the  sake  of 
your  children,  for  my  sake."  ^ 

Kosciuszko  loved  his  retirement,  and  was  happiest 
in  his  own  cherished  gafdeiT;  but  he  by  no  means 
led  the  life  of  a  hermit,  and  was  fond  of  visiting  the 
country  houses  of  his  friends  in  the  sociable  open- 
hearted  manner  of  his  race.  His  frank  kindliness 
and  courtesy  made  him  a  welcorhe  guest ;  and 
the  favourite  amusement  of  the  soldier  who  had 
gained  fame  in  the  New  World  was  to  play  "  blind 
man's  buff  "  and  other  youthful  games  with  the 
young  people  of  the  house. 

One  of  the  manors  that  he  frequented  was  that 
of  Michal  Zaleski,  a  legal  and  political  functionary 
of  some  importance  in  Lithuania.  With  him  and 
his  wife  Kosciuszko  contracted  a  lasting  friendship. 

"  I  will  begin  " — so  runs  a  letter  of  his  to  Mme. 
Zaleska — "  first  of  all  by  reproaching  your  ladyship 
'  op.  cit.  *  Ibid. 


for  not  having  added  even  one  word  to  the  letter  " 
— presumably  her  husband's.  "  A  fine  way  of 
remembering  your  neighbour !  So  I  have  only 
got  to  hurry  home  to  be  forgotten  by  my  friends  ! 
I  will  forbid  any  more  of  my  water  to  be  given  to 
you,  and  will  entirely  prohibit  my  well ;  so  you 
will  have  to  drink  from  your  own,  made  badly  by 
your  husband.  I  lay  my  curse  on  your  ladyship 
and  will  show  you  no  mercy ;  and  if  I  should  be 
in  the  church  on  Good  Friday  you  would  most 
certainly  be  denied  absolution  for  your  great  and 
heinous  sins.  However,  I  kiss  your  hands,  and  be 
both  of  you  convinced  of  the  enduring  respect  and 
esteem  with  which  I  desire  to  be  your  humblest 
servant."  ^ 

"  Oh,  would  that  I  could  obtain  such  a  wife  !  "  he 
writes  to  the  husband.  "  She  is  an  example  for 
thousands — how  to  find  happiness  at  home  with 
husband  and  children.  What  month  were  you 
born  in  ?  If  my  birthday  were  in  the  same  month, 
then  I  too  might  venture  to  marry."  2 

Although  Kosciuszko  lived  far  from  the  turmoil  of 
publicity  and  out  of  the  reach  of  events,  his  thoughts, 
as  we  know  from  his  letters  and  from  rough  notes 
that  exist  in  his  handwriting,  were  much  taken  up 
with  the  crisis  through  which  his  country  was 
passing.  He  pondered  much  upon  the  means  of 
her  preservation.  His  correspondence  with  Michal 
Zaleski  insists  upon  the  necessity  for  Poland  of 
national  self-consciousness  and  confidence  in  her 
own  destiny.  Education  for  the  masses,  a  citizen 
army   of   burghers   and   peasants,   were   two  of   the 

'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 
2  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 


reforms  for  which  Kosciuszko  most  earnestly  longed, 
and  in  which,  in  advance  of  his  epoch,  he  saw  a 
rem£d^LjQr_crYing__£,vils.  It  was  a  moment  when 
the  attention  of  thoughtful  men  was  riveted  on 
great  national  problems,  for  the  famous  Diet  was 
now  sitting  that  from  i^SS^to  1791  was  engaged  in 
the  task  of  framing  for  Poland  the  enlightened  Con- 
stitution that,  were  it  not  for  the  armies  of  Prussia 
and  Russia,  would  have  saved  her.  One  of  its  early 
enactments  was  the  remodelling  of  the  Polish  army. 
Kosciuszko's  standing  was  now  for  the  first  time 
to  be  publicly  recognized  by  the  Government  of 
his  country,  and  his  talent  impressed  into  her 
service.  His  old  love,  the  Princess  Lubomirska,  here 
reappears  in  his  history,  writing  a  letter  to  the  King, 
with  the  request  that  Kosciuszko  should  be  given 
a  military  command.  If  to  the  modern  reader  it 
comes  with  something  of  a  shock,  as  Korzon  remarks, 
that  a  woman  considered  her  intervention  needed 
to  push  the  claims  of  a  soldier  who  had  so  greatly 
distinguished  himself,  we  must  remember  that  Kos- 
ciuszko was  then  scarcely  known  in  Poland.  His 
service  had  been  foreign  ;  he  belonged  to  a  quiet 
country  family  that  had  nothing  to  do  with  affairs 
of  state.  Apart  from  the  Princess's  propaganda, 
of  which  we  hear  nothing  further,  Kosciuszko's 
name  was  sent  up  for  recommendation  to  the  Grand 
Diet,  and  the  Lithuanian  magnate  who  proposed  it 
spoke  before  the  Diet  of  Kosciuszko  as  a  man  ''_who 
possesses  high  personal  qualities,  and,  as  he  learnt 
to  shed  his  blood  for  a  foreign  country,  will  assuredly 
not  grudge  it  to  his  own."  Kosciuszko  was  present  ; 
and  as  he  heard  these  words  he  politely  rose  and 
bowed.     Kosciuszko  was  no  frequenter  of  courts  or 


lover  of  palaces  ;  but  his  interests  obliged  him  to 
present  himself  to  the  King,  who  remembered  him 
as  the  promising  j^outh  to  whom  his  favour  had 
been  given  when  a  cadet.  The  upshot  of  all  this 
was  that  he  received  the  commission  of  major- 
general  in  the  PoUsh  army  on  the  ist  of  October,  1789. 

His  first  command  was  in  the  country  districts 
of  Great  Poland,  close  to  the  frontiers  of  that  part 
of  Poland  which  since  the  first  partition  had  been 
under  Prussian  dominion.  It  was  a  keen  disappoint- 
ment to  Kosciuszko  that  his  appointment  was  in 
the  army  of  Poland  proper,  the  so-called  Crown 
army,  instead  of  in  that  of  his  native  Lithuania. 
That  wild  and  romantic  land  of  marsh  and  forest 
which  the  poetry  of  her  great  singer,  Adam 
Mickiewicz,  has  made  live  for  ever  in  Polish  htera- 
ture,  casts  a  spell  as  it  were  of  enchantment  over 
her  born  sons ;  and  Kosciuszko  felt  himself  a 
stranger  among  the  less  simple  and  more  sophisti- 
cated men  with  whom  he  was  now  thrown. 

While  busy  training  soldiers  his  thoughts  turned 
often  to  his  little  estate  which  he  had  placed  in  the 
charge  of  his  sister. 

"  See  that  the  Dutch  cheeses  are  made,"  he  writes 
to  her.  "  Please  put  in  the  grafts  given  me  by 
Laskowski,  and  in  those  places  where  the  former  ones 
have  not  taken.  To-morrow  sow  barley,  oats.  Plant 
small  birches  in  the  walk  immediately  behind  the 
building."  ^ 

"  Why  on  earth  don't  you  write  to  me  ?  "  he 
says,  reading  her  a  fraternal  lecture.  "  Are  you 
ill  ?  Your  health  is  bad.  Take  care  of  yourself ; 
do  not  do  anything  that  might  trouble  you.     Say 

I  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 


the  same  as  I  do,  that  there  are  people  worse  off 
than  I,  who  would  like  to  be  in  my  place.     Provi-v 
dence  will  cheer  us,  and  can  give  us  opportunities  j 
and  happiness  beyond  our  expectations.     I  always  1 
commend    myself    to    the    Most    High    and    submit  I 
myself  to  His  will.     Do  you  do  this,  in  this  way) 
calm  yourself,  and  so  be  happy.     Here  is  a  moral 
for  you,  which   take   to    the   letter.     For   Heaven's 
sake  get  me  some  trees  somehow.     Let  the  buds 
have  sap,  not  like  they  are  at  the  Princess's.    Good- 
bye.    Love  me  as  I  do  you  with  all  our  souls."  ^ 

In  the  course  of  his  duties  Kosciuszko  had  con- 
stantly to  make  journeys  to  Warsaw  on  business. 
When  there  he  entered  into  close  relations  with 
those  noblest  of  Poland's  patriots  and  reformers, 
Ignacy  Potocki  and  Hugo  Kollontaj,  both  holding 
offTceUMer  the  CrowiTandTemployed  in  drawing  up 
the  reforms  that  the  Great  Diet  was  passing.  Here 
too  Kosciuszko  often  saw  his  already  friend,  Niem- 
cewicz,  who  was  bringing  out  patriotic  plays  and 
taking  an  active  part  among  the  enlightened  political 
party.  The  high  esteem  in  which  Kosciuszko  was 
held,  not  merely  by  those  who  loved  him  personally 
but  by  men  who  only  knew  of  him  by  repute,  may 
-be  illustrated  by  a  letter  addressed  to  him,  not  then, 
but  later,  by  Kollontaj,  in  which  the  latter  tells 
Kosciuszko  that  words  are  not  needed  to  express 
how  much  he  prizes  the  friendship  of  one  "  whom 
I  loved,  honoured  and  admired  before  fate  granted 
me  to  know  you  in  person."  2 

In  1790  Prussia  concluded  a  defensive  and  offen- 
sive   alliance   with    Poland,    which,    as    the   sequel 

»  op.  cit. 

»  Letters  of  Hugo  Kollontaj.     Poznali,  1872  (Polish). 


shows,  she  was  prepared  to  break  at  the  psycholo- 
gical moment,  in  order  to  secure  PoUsh  help  in  the 
probable  Prussian  war  against  an  Austrian- Russian 
coalition.  Poland  began  to  make  ready  for  the  field. 
Kosciuszko  was  sent  southwards,  to  Lublin,  where 
he  remained  for  the  summer  months.  His  employ- 
ment was  to  train  the  recruits  for  approaching 
active  service.  Against  the  difficulties  always  to 
beset  him  throughout  his  career  of  lack  of  ammuni- 
tion and  want  of  funds,  he  devoted  himself  to  his 
task  with  the  energy  and  foresight  that  were  cus- 
tomary with  him.  He  was  ordered  in  September  to 
move  to  Podolia,  on  the  frontiers  of  which  the 
Russians  were  massing.  He  stayed  in  that  district 
for  many  months  uivtiUthe  July  of  1791. 

There  the  commandant  of  KalSneniec  was  no  other 
than  his  old  comrade  and  friend,  Orjowski. 

"  Truly  beloved  friend,"  wrote  Orlowski  to  Kos- 
ciuszko during  the  winter  of  1790,  chaffiing  him  on 
the  untiring  activity  that  he  displayed  at  his  post  : 
"  I  hear  from  everybody  that  you  don't  sit  still  in 
any  place  for  a  couple  of  hours,  and  that  you  only 
roam  about  like  a  Tartar,  not  settUng  anywhere. 
However,  I  approve  of  that.  It  is  evident  that 
you  mean  to  maintain  your  regiment  in  the  dis- 
cipline and  regularity  of  military  service.  I  foresee 
yet  another  cause  for  your  roaming  about  the  world, 
''which  you  divulged  in  my  presence.  You  write  to 
me  for  a  little  wife,  if  I  can  find  one  here  for  you."  ^ 

For,  as  is  clear  from  various  expressions  in  Kos- 
ciuszko's  letters,  the  soldier,  who  was  no  longer  young, 
was  yearning  for  domestic  happiness.  And  now, 
in  the  turmoil  of  warlike  prepafaTions,  he  fell  in  love 

*  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko, 


with  a  girl  of  eighteen,  Tekla  Zurowska^J:he  daughter 
of  a  noble,  ancTlierress  to  his  estates.  The  courtship 
between  the  general  bordering  on  middle  age— he 
was  then  forty-five — and  this  child  in  her  teens 
has  given  us  Kosciuszko^sjove-letters  that  are  among 
the  most  charaiing "productions  of  his  pen,  for  their 
tenderness  and  their  half-playful  chivalry,  charac- 
teristic not  only  of  Poland's  national  hero,  but  in 
themselves  typically  Polish.  The  couple  met  for  the 
first  time  at  a  ball  in  a  country  manor-house.  We 
can  visualize  the  picturesque  spectacle  of  the  ball- 
room, brilhant  with  the  gorgeous  national  costumes 
of  the  guests,  both  men  and  ladies  ;  the  rugged  and 
simple  soldier  in  his  Polish  uniform,  courteously 
handing  to  the  many  figured  Mazur  or  the  stately 
Polonaise  the  slim  girUsh  form  sporting  her  tight 
sleeveless  little  coat  with  miUtary  facings  and  rich 
fur  edgings  and  sleeve-like  streamers  drooping  from 
the  shoulders,  with  her  hair  dressed  in  two  long 
plaits  sweeping  to  her  skirts.  The  girl's  family  was 
staying  in  the  town  that  was  Kosciuszko's  head- 
quarters, and  so  near  Kosciuszko's  rooms  that  the 
lovers  could  watch  each  other  from  their  windows. 
Seeing  one  of  Kosciuszko's  officers  leave  his  general's 
house  in  haste,  Tekla,  with  the  assurance,  to  use 
no  harsher  term,  of  her  years,  wrote  a  rebuke  to  her 
lover  for  getting  rid  of  his  subordinates  with  greater 
speed  than  was  seemly.  Kosciuszko  replied  by 
informing  her  what  the  business  had  been  between 
himself  and  the  soldier  in  question  :  "  but  I  greeted 
him  beautifully  and  politely,  and  if  he  went  away 
quickly  it  was  certainly  because  he  saw  a  great  many 
unfinished  papers  before  me."  ^ 

*  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 


There  was  another,.  Xekla  on  the  scenes,  Tekla 
Orlewska,  a  cousin  of  the  first  Tekla,  whose  friend- 
sTiip^arM  sympathy  were  freely  given,  both  to  Kos- 
ciuszko  and  the  girl  he  loved.  "  To  the  two 
Teklas  "   Kosciuszko  pens  this  letter. 

"  For  the  notebook  sent  me " — this  to  Tekla 
Zurowska — "  I  thank  thee  very  much,  although  it 
is  somewhat  undurable,  not  suitable  for  use.  'Twas 
a  pity  for  little  hands  to  labour  at  such  a  passing 
thing  :  a  pity  to  wear  eyes  out  over  so  small  a  form 
of  writing  which  it  must  overstrain  the  eyes  to  read  : 
it  would  have  been  better  instead  to  have  written 
more.  I  know  not  to  whom  I  must  write,  whether 
to  the  first  little  Tekla  or  to  the  second  ;  but  what 
I  do  know  is  that  I  love  the  first  and  am  the  greatest 
friend  to  the  second.  Both  reproach  me  for  some- 
what of  which  I  do  not  find  myself  guilty.  To  the 
first  I  had  no  opportunity  of  writing,  and  now  I 
am  sending  my  answer  by  Kniaziewicz  " — the  future 
famous  soldier  of  the  Napoleonic  legions :  "  but 
should  he  not  come  I  have  no  one  by  whom  to  write, 
for  I  do  not  know  which  of  my  friends  visits  you. 
The  second  ought  to  reproach  herself  because  she 
forgot  so  good  a  friend,  and  because  with  so  many 
opportunities  she  told  me  nothing  about  either  the 
first  friend  or  about  herself.  They  tell  me  that 
Orlewska  has  looked  with  favour  upon  a  certain 
person,  and  that  he  has  wounded  her  heart  with 
love.  Little  Tekla,  when  thou  writest  send  me 
at  the  same  time  one  of  the  coral  beads  from  thy 
neck.  May  Providence  enfold  thee  in  the  cloak  of 
perfect  happiness,  and  be  thou  always  convinced  of 
my  steadfastness,  friendship,  esteem,  respect."  ^ 

»  Letters  of  Koiciuszko, 


But  although  Tekla's  mother  warmly  encouraged 
Kosciuszko's  cause,  her  father  looked  askance  at 
his  daughter's  suitor  :  either  on  account  of  the 
disparity  of  age  between  them,  or,  which  seems 
more  probable,  for  the  reason  that  Kosciuszko 
possessed  neither  large  estates  nor  a  great  family 
name.  On  one  occasion  Kosciuszko,  not  finding 
himself  pressed  to  make  a  longer  stay  under  the 
Zurowski  roof,  took  an  earl}/  departure,  telHng 
Tekla  that  : 

"It  is  always  a  bad  thing  for  the  uninvited  to 
stay  on.  Through  my  natural  delicacy  I  under- 
stood that  I  was  one  too  many.  I  had  to  go,  albeit 
with  sorrow.  I  will  now  ask  you  where  you  are 
going  to-morrow.  If  I  could  find  a  good  excuse  I 
would  go  there  too.  .  .  .  May  Heaven  bless  the 
mother  and  daughter,  and  may  it  also  send  down 
upon  the  father,  even  though  he  is  unfriendly  to 
me,  bountiful  riches  of  health.  ...  I  kiss  j'our 
little  feet,  and  when  you  are  dining  with  an  English- 
man and  Frenchman  forget  not  the  Pole  who  wishes 
you  well."  ^ 

"  Captains  P.  and  P.  told  me,"  he  says  later, 
"  that  I  was  the  cause  of  your  shedding  tears. 
That  such  precious  drops  from  lovely  springs  should 
be  shed  through  suspicion  of  me  causes  the  greatest 
anguish  to  my  heart.  Therefore  I  kneel  and  kiss 
your  little  hands  until  I  win  your  pardon.  But 
think  not  that  I  ever  had  any  idea  of  casting  an 
aspersion  on  you.  It  was  only  the  result  of  my 
native  frankness.  I  never  have  failed  to  relate  to  a 
friendly  person  what  T  "see,  think,  and  hear.  Now 
I    will    correct    myself.     Never    henceforth    will    I 

I  op.  cit. 


practise  my  frankness  on  you  :    even  my  thoughts 
shall  be  restrained."  ^ 

But  at  times  he  attempted  to  keep  the  young 
lady  in  some  sort  of  discipline. 

"  Going  to  dine  two  miles  off  " — the  Polish  mile, 
be  it  observed,  is  more  than  three  times  the  length 
of  ours — "  is  a  very  bad  thing,"  not  for  herself,  he 
hastens  to  add :  "  four  miles  for  your  delicate 
mother  are  too  much,  and  I  am  afraid  lest  she 
should  feel  it.  As  for  you,  if  it  were  eight,  all  the 
better.  The  more  you  exert  yourself  the  better 
your  health  will  be.  Jump,  laugh,  run,  but  don't 
sleep  after  dinner ;  and  if  you  cannot  go  out,  at  least 
walk  in  the  hall,  play  or  read."  2 

Again  :  "  Please  write  more  clearly,  for  I  lose 
half  of  the  pleasure ;  or  if  you  will  write  in  pencil, 
wet  it  in  water,  then  the  letters  will  not  be  rubbed 
out."  3 

On  her  side  the  lady  imposed  orders  upon  her 
lover  with  which  he,  not  very  willingly,  complied. 

"  I  have  acted  according  to  thy  command,"  he 
writes,  "  and  will  not  go  to  the  christening,  although 
it  was  disagreeable  to  me  to  refuse.  I  have  no  choice, 
because  thou  only  art  the  mistress  of  my  heart. 
Do  whatever  seems  to  thee  best.  To  behold  thee 
happy  is  my  prayer  to  God."  He  tells  her  that  he 
sees  her  father  prowling  about  the  windows  of  his 
own  house  and  looking  suspiciously  in  the  direction 
of  Kosciuszko's,  but  :  "I  will  do  as  thou  desirest, 
and  will  behave  most  politely,  and  if  he  says  any- 
thing against  my  opinions  I  will  gnaw  out  my  tongue, 
but  will  answer  nothing  back."  4 

'  Letters  of  Kosciuszko.  *  Ibid. 

S  Ibid.  4  Ibid. 


The  ill-founded  rumour  that  in  Kosciuszko's 
youth  he  had  intended  to  run  off  with  Ludwika 
Sosnowska  had  got  to  the  ears  of  Tekla's  father. 
Certain  enemies  of  Kosciuszko's  did  their  best  to 
slander  him  yet  further.  The  result  was  a  scene 
of  the  sort  more  familiar  a  hundred  and  odd  years 
ago  than  now  :  a  girl  throwing  herself  weeping  at 
the  feet  of  an  enraged  parent,  the  wrath  of  the 
father  dissolving  into  tears,  but  his  determination 
remaining  implacable.  The  history  of  it  was  duly 
handed  on  to  the  absent  Kosciuszko,  whose  comment 
was  as  follows  : 

"  I  return  thee,  but  bathed  with  tears,  thy  good- 
night." He  charges  Tekla  not  to  let  her  mother, 
who  regarded  Kosciuszko  with  sincere  affection,  fret 
herself  sick  over  what  had  happened.  "  Embrace  her 
as  fondly  as  she  loves  thee.  .  •.  .  Amuse  and  distract 
her  so  that  her  thoughts  may  incline  her  to  sleep." 
He  complains  that  Tekla  does  not  tell  him  how 
she  herself  has  weathered  the  storm  :  that  he  knows 
nothing  of  what  is  happening  in  her  home.  "  I 
should  be  glad  to  be  even  in  thy  heart  and  enfold 
thee  all  within  my  heart.  Each  moment  makes 
me  uneasy  for  thee.  ...  As  for  me  ..  .  all  my  mind 
is  confused.  There  is  bitterness  in  my  heart,  and 
I  feel  fever  tearing  my  inmost  being.  Go  to 
bed,  and  sleep  with  pleasant  thoughts,  seeing  thy 
mother  better.  ...  I  commend  thee  to  that  Provi- 
dence who  is  beneficent  to  us  all.  Once  more  I 
embrace  thee.  I  am  going  away,  but  in  thought 
I  am  always  present  by  thy  side."  ^ 

To  Tekla's  mother  he  wrote  : 

"  I  cannot,  God  knows,  I  cannot  keep  silence  or 

I  Ibid. 


send  letters,  for  what  I  have  heard  and  read  has 
struck  me  Uke  a  thunderbolt.  You  do  not  bid  me 
write  again,  my  little  mother  " — here  he  uses  one 
of  the  caressing  untranslatable  Polish  diminutives. 
''  I  see  that  you  have  been  prevailed  upon  by  his 
[her  husband's]  persuasions.  I  see  that  I  shall  be 
parted  from  her  for  ever.  ...  I  will  always  act  accord- 
ing to  the  bidding  of  the  mother  who  is  mine  and 
the  mother  of  her  who  will  always  be  in  my  heart. 
I  will  write  no  more  and  will  not  visit  at  her  house, 
that  the  sight  of  her  shall  not  be  as  poison  to  me.  .  .  . 
However,  may  the  all  High  Providence  bless  you ; 
and  now  I  can  write  no  more."  ^ 

He  then  went  off  to  manoeuvres.  But  the  lovers 
had  by  no  means  given  up  hope.  They  continued 
their  correspondence,  and  Kosciuszko,  at  Tekla's 
suggestion  and  subject  to  her  approval,  sent  her  a 
letter  which  he  had  drawn  up  for  her  father  with  a 
formal  request   for  her  hand. 

The  father  returned  an  unmitigated  refusal, 
repeating  the  absurd  charge  that  Kosciuszko  had 
intended  to  abduct  his  daughter.  To  this  Kos- 
ciuszko repUed  with  dignity  and  respect,  ending 
with  the  words  : 

"  If  I  cannot  gain  for  myself  your  favour,  if  I 
do  not  win  for  myself  the  hope  of  gaining  her 
I  love,  if  I  do  not  receive  the  title  so  honourable 
for  me  of  your  son  and  am  not  to  be  made  happy, 
at  least  I  look  for  the  approbation  of  an  honest 
man."  ^ 

Zurowski's  answer  was  to  remove  his  family  to 
his  Galician  estate.  Kosciuszko  wrote  joint  letters 
to  the  mother,  whom  he  still  fondly  terms  his 
I  Letters  of  Koiciuszko.  »  Ibid. 


"  little  mother,"  and  to  the  daughter,  assuring 
the  former  that  his  reply  to  her  husband  had 
been : 

"...  most  mild  because  he  is  your  husband  and  the 
father  of  my  little  Tekla  ;  but  I  now  see  no  chance 
after  such  a  letter  [the  father's],  at  the  very  memory 
of  which  my  blood  boils.  But  I  thank  you  for  your 
kindness  to  me,  which  will  be  held  in  my  undying 
remembrance.  Your  character,  your  rare  attach- 
ment to  your  daughter,  will  be  an  example  to  all.  ,  .  . 
May  you  live  long  and  happily,  and  you  will  find 
your  reward  when  you  wish  to  take  it.  My  God  ! 
what  a  horrible  idea  that  I  should  have  done  violence 
to  a  law  of  nature,  and  in  spite  of  the  father  have 
carried  off  from  his  house  my  beloved  !  And  thou, 
the  life  of  my  heart,  who  wert  to  have  been  the 
sweetness  of  all  my  life,  little  Tekla,  forgive  me 
for  not  finding  fitting  words  at  this  moment,  but, 
weeping,  I  bow  my  head  to  kiss  thy  little  feet  with 
affection  that  shall  endure  for  ever.  Do  not  exalt 
me  in  thy  thoughts,  but  tread  down  all  the  proofs 
of  my  friendship  and  drown  in  thy  memory  my 
love  for  thee."  ^ 

"  I  will  always  be  with  you  both" — this  to  Tekla's 
mother,  bidding  her  good-bye  in  language  of  unshaken 
affection :  "  although  not  present,  yet  in  heart  and 
thought."  2 

Korzon  notices  that  at  the  moment  of  Kosciuszko's 
rebuff  at  the  hands  of  his  Tekla's  father,  who  was 
after  all  nobody  more  than  an  ordinary  landowner, 
the  rejected  suitor  had  several  thousand  soldiers 
under  his  command,  and  in  days  when  wild  and 
lawless  acts  were  not   unknown,   and  not   difficult 

I  Ibid.  2  Ibid. 


of  execution  in  a  country  where  conditions  were 
unsettled  and  communications  long,  it  would  have 
been  easy  enough  for  him  to  have  carried  his  way 
by  sheer  force.  But  outrage  and  violence  against 
another's  rights,  defiance  of  law  and  honour,  were 
foreign  to  Kosciuszko's  whole  trend  of  character. 
Here,  then,  love  passes  out  of  Kosciuszko's  hfe, 
whose  only  passion  henceforth  will  be  that  of  de- 
votion to  his  country.  Five  years  later  Tekla 
married  Kniaziewicz,  the  friend  of  Kosciuszko  who, 
with  him,  was  to  be  sung  in  the  most  famous 
of  Poland's  poems,  the  Pan  Tadeusz  of  Adam 



In  179 1,  amidst  an  outburst  o"f  national  rejoicing, 
was  passed  the  Polish  Constitution  of  the  3rd  of 
May.  Polish  music  and  song  have  commemorated 
the  day — to  this  hour  the  Polish  nation  dedicates 
each  recurrent  anniversary  to  its  memory — when 
Poland  triumphantly  burst  the  shackles  that  were 
sapping  her  life  and  stood  forth  in  the  van  of 
European  states  with  a  legislation  that  evoked  the 
admiration  of  Burke,  Walpole,  and  the  foremost 
thinkers  of  the  age.  The  old  abuses  were  swept 
away,  A  constitutional  and  hereditary  monarchy 
was  established.  Burghers  were  granted  equal  civic 
rights  with  the  nobility,  the  condition  of  the  peasants 
was  ameliorated.  Freedom  was  proclaimed  to  all 
who  set  foot  upon  the  soil  of  Poland. 

New  life  now  lay  before  the  transfigured  Polish 
state.  But  an  internally  strong  and  poHtically 
reformed  Poland  would  have  dealt  the  death-blow 
to  Russia's  designs  of  conquest.  Catherine  II's 
policy  was  therefore  to  force  back  internal  anarchy 
upon  the  nation  that  had  abjured  it,  and  to  prevent 
the  new  Constitution  from  being  carried  into  effect. 
She  had  in  her  hand  a  minority  of  Polish  nobles 
who    had    no    mind    to    part    with   their   inordinate 



privileges  ttiat  the  new  laws  had  abolished,  and  who 
regarded  a  liberal  constitution  with  distrust  and 
disfavour.  At  the  Empress's  instigation  the  chief 
of  the  malcontents^Felix  Potocki,  Xavery  Branicki, 
and  Se'veriTT'Rzewuski,  went  to  Petersburg  to  lay 
their  grievances  before  her.  Out  of  this  handful  of 
Pohsh  traitors  Catlifirine  formed  a  confederation, 
supported  by  Russia ;  and  in  the  spring  of  1^92 
she  formally  declared  war  upon  _Px)lan(l  Such  is 
the  tragic  storjrbT  the  Confederation  of  Targoivica, 
the  name  that  has  gone  dowiTto^oaTum  nTthe  history 
of  Poland,  its  members  held  as  traitors  by  Polish 
posterity  and  by  the  majority  of  their  contemporaries. 
While  events  were  thus  hurrying  on  in  his  country 
Kosciuszko,  himself  ready  to  strain  every  nerve  in 
her  cause,  wrote  in  the  April  of  1792  to  Michal 
Zaleski  : 

"  Having  heard  that  you  are  staying  in  the  Brzesc 
palatinate  and  are  my  near  neighbour,  and  always 
my  partisan  and  friend,  I  cannot  refrain  from  sending 
you  the  expression  of  esteem  which  is  due  to  you, 
as  well  as  one  of  astonishment  that  you  have  sacri- 
ficed this  time  to  domestic  tranquillity  and  to  your 
own  happiness,  Hving  with  the  lady  admired  by  all 
and  most  especially  beloved  by  me  for  her  character 
and  most  beautiful  soul,  and  that  you  have  aban- 
doned your  country,  to  which  you  could  have  been 
of  great  assistance.  This  is  the  time  when  even 
where  there  is  diversity  of  opinions  there  ought  to 
be  one  unity  of  aim  for  her  happiness,  for  leading 
I  her  to  importance  in  Europe,  to  internally  good 
(  government.  I  well  know  and  am  convinced  of 
your  character,  heart  and  patriotism ;  but,  as  your 
talents,  judgment,   wit,    and  general    knowledge    of 

THE   FIRST   FIGHT   FOR   POLAND        73 

law  are  well  known,  so  I  should  wish  that  you  would 
bfc  of  assistance  to  your  country.  It  is  a  sure  fact 
that  every  citizen,  even  the  most  unimportant  and 
leasT~lristructed,  can  cqntrijbute^  to  the  universal 
go0d;'bntiie~tcrwhoin  the  Almighty  has  given  under- 
sfariding  of  affairs  peater  Jhan  JhaFoJ^^ 
wh^njie^ ceases  to  be  active.  We  must  all  unite  in 
one  aim,^  to  release  our  land  from  the  domination 
of  foreigners,  from  the  abasement  and  destruction 
of  the  very  name  of  Pole.  On  ourselves  depends 
the  amendment  of  the  government,  on  our  morals  ; 
and  if  we  are  base,  covetous,  interested,  careless  of 
our  country,  it  is  just  that  we  shall  have  chains  on 
our  necks,  and  we  shall  be  worthy  of  them."  ^ 

Through  the  spring  of  1792  Kosciuszko  was  pre- 
paring the  division  ot  the  aTmy  under  his  command 
for  the  war  wjth  Russia.  His  were  still  the  heart- 
burnings that  he  was  to  experience  whenever  he 
was  at  the  head  of  men,  those  of  a  commander  who 
had  neither  sufhcient  soldiers,  ammunition,  nor  pro- 
visions. On  the  2 1st  of  May  the  King  delivered  a 
stirring  speech  to  the  Diet.  "  You  behold  deeds," 
he  said,  alluding  to  the  Confederation  of  Targowica, 
"  that  aim  at  the  destruction  of  the  authority  and 
existence  of  the  present  Diet  and  of  the  restoration 
of  our  entire  independence.  You  behold  the  open 
support  of  those  compatriots  who  are  committing 
violence  against  the  welfare  and  will  of  our  country. 
You  behold,  therefore,  the  indispensable  necessity 
that  we  should  adopt  as  best  we  can  every  measure 
to  defend  and  save  our  country.  Whatever,  honour- 
able Estates,  you  resolve  I  will  not  only  accede  to, 
but  I  hereby  declare  that  I  will  take  my  place  in 
'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 



person  wheresoever  my  presence  shall  be  called  for." 
Probably  those  of  his  audience  who  knew  the  King 
best  took  his  words  at  their  true  value. 

On  May  22nd  the  Russian  army_crflssed  the 
frontier.  Poland  appealed  to  the  terms  of  her 
treaty  with  Prussia,  and  requested  the  Prussian 
state  to  come  to  her  assistance.  Prussia^  threw  off 
the  mask  and  disavowed  her  treaty  obligations  ; 
and  the  Poles  were  left  to  their  own  resources.  Their 
numbers  equalled,  according  to  Kosciuszko's  com- 
putation, one  single  column  of  the  Russian  army. 
An"  empty  treasury,  an  empty  arsenal,  were" beliind 
them ;  they  were  pitted  against  seasoned  soldiers, 
trained  in  successful  war ;  but  the  fire  of  patriotism 
ran  high  through  their  ranks.  Many  of  the  nobles, 
following  the  old  traditions  of  Polish  history,  raised 
regiments  in  their  own  provinces,  armed  them  at 
their  own  cost,  and  in  person  led  them  to  the  field. 
The  commander-in-chief  was  young  Jozef  Ponia- 
towski,  the  nephew  of  the  King.  He  was  to  become 
one  of  the  most  popular  of  Poland's  heroes,  as  the 
brilliant  leader  of  a  Polish  army  during  the  Napo- 
leonic wars ;  but  at  this  moment  he  was  a  youth 
of  twenty-eight,  whose  military  knowledge  was 
wholly  neghgible,  and  who  owed  his  high  position 
to  his  family  connections.  The  only  Polish  general 
who  had  practical  experience  of  war  was  Kosciuszko  ; 
and  with  him,  for  all  Poniatowski's  devoted  service 
of  his  country,  rests  the  chief  fame  of  the  Ukraine 

The  story  of  that  three  months'  campaign  is  one 
of  a  gallant  struggle  of  a  little  army,  now  winning, 
now  losing,  inflicting  heavy  loss  upon  a  superior 
enemy,  but  graduall}'  driven  back  by  overwhelming 

THE   FIRST   FIGHT   FOR  POLAND        75 

numbers    through   Volhynia    and   Podoha.      During . 
all    these    weeks    of    desperate    fighting    Kosciuszko 
figures  as  the  man  whose  bravery  and  skill  again; 
and  again  saved  the  critical   moment.     In  his  dis-' 
patches   to  the   King,  whose   arrival  in  the   Pohsh 
camp  was  daily  looked  for,  and  who  never  came, 
Poniatowski    praises    Kosciuszko    as    "  doing    great 
service,   not  only  by  his   courage,  but   also   by   his 
singular  prudence."   At  Wlodzimierz,  when  the  Pohsh 
arrny~was  TnT^The    utmost    danger  of    annihilation, 
Kosciuszko  thrust  back  the  attack  of  "  the  whole  i 
Russian  army" — the  quotation  is  his — with  heavy  ; 
loss  to  the  Russians  and  httle  to  the  Poles.     It  was,  1 
thus    Poniatowski    declares    in    his    report    to  the 
King,  thanks   "  to   the   good   and   circumspect   dis- 
positions of  General  Kosciuszko  that  our  retreat  was 
continued  in  unbroken  order."     The  subsequent  safe 
passage  of  the  army  over  the  river  is  again  ascribed 
to   Kosciuszko.     And  so  we  arrive  at   the  famous 
day  of  Dubienka,  fought  on  the  banks  of  the  Bug 
between  the  marshes  of  Polesie  and  Gahcia,  which 
covered  Kosciuszko's  name  with  glory,  and  which 
by  tragic  paradox  saw  the  end  of  that  stage  of  his 
nation's  hope  for  freedom. 

Kosciuszko  has  left  a  manuscript  account,  written 
in  the  nature  of  a  rough  sketch,  of  the  Ukraine 
campaign.^  It  passed  into  the  keeping  of  Stanislas 
Potocki,  one  of  the  great  pioneers  of  educational 
reform  in  Poland,  not  to  be  confounded  with  his 
ill-famed  namesake,  Fehx  Potocki.  In  it  Kos- 
ciuszko gives  with  brevity  and  characteristic  modesty 
the  account  of   the  battle  :    how,  with  Poniatowski 

'  Printed  in  Edward  Raczynski's  Pictures  of  Poles  and  of  Poland 
in  the  Eighteenth  Century.     Poznaa,  1841  (Polish). 


too  far  off  to  render  assistance,  and  the  safety  of 
the  whole  PoUsh  army  depending  upon  Kosciuszko, 
"  left  to  himself,"  to  cite  his  own  words — he  in- 
variably employs  the  third  person — he  threw  up 
defences  and  prepared  for  the  Russian  attack. 
Through  the  day  of  July  i8th  he  stood  with  five 
thousand  Poles^  and  eight  "cannon  against  a  Russian 
army  of^twenty  thousand  soldiers  and  forty  cannon, 
repelHng  the  enemy  with  sanguinary  loss  to  the 
latter.  One  of  his  officers  who  fought  by  his  side 
told  afterwards  how  he  had  seen  Kosciuszko  in  the 
hottest  fire  calm  and  collected  as  though  taking  a 
stroll.  The  battle  that  has  been  called  the  Polish 
Thermopylae  only  closed  when  towards  evening  the 
Russian  commander,  Kachowski,  violated  neutral 
territory  and  fell  upon  the  Poles  from  the  side  of 
Galicia,  so  that,  hopelessly  outnumbered,  they  were 
compelled  to  retreat.  The  retreat  through  the  forest 
on  a  pitch-dark  night  was  led  by  Kosciuszko,  says 
an  eyewitness,  "  with  the  utmost  coolness  and  in  the 
greatest  order,"  directing  an  incessant  fire  on  the 
pursuing  Russians  that  told  heavily  upon  them. 
Kniaziewicz,  whom  we  last  saw  in  a  less  stern  moment 
of  Kosciuszko's  life,  here  played  a  gallant  part. 

It  has  been  pointed  out  that  the  honours  of  the 
day  fell,  not  to  the  winner  of  the  field  of  Dubienka, 
but  to  the  vanquished  :  to  Kosciuszko,  not  to  the 
Russian  general,  Kachowski.  Pole  and  Russian 
alike  speak  of  the  high  military  talent  that  Kosciuszko 
displayed,  no  less  than  of  the  valour  that  fought  on, 
refusing  defeat  till  hope  was  no  more.  The  immediate 
result  so  far  as  Kosciuszko  was  personally  concerned 
was  the  acknowledgment  of  his  services  by  the  King 
in  the  shape  of  promotion  and  the  nomination  he 


greatly  desired  to  the  command  of  one  of  the 
chief  regiments  in  the  PoHsh  army,  with  all  the 
affluence  that  these  rewards  bestowed  upon  a  man 
who  had  never  hitherto  enjoyed  wealth.  His  fame, 
too,  travelled  beyond  the  confines  of  his  coulTEfy, 
and  the  Legislative  Assembl}^  in  Paris  conferred 
upon  him  the  title  of  Citizen  of  France. 

But  the  battle  of  Dubienka^waTliot  a  week  old, 
and  the  army  was  eager  for  fresh  action,  when  the 
Kijig  gave  in  his  adherence  to  the  Confederation  of 
Targowica ;  in  other  words,  sold  himself  and  his 
nation  to  Russia.  The  echoes  of  his  speech  to  the 
Diet,  calling"  upon  the  nation  to  fight  till  death, 
vowing  that  he  was  ready  to  make  the  sacrifice  of 
his  own  life  should  his  country  need  it,  were  still 
in  the  ears  of  those  who  had  heard  it.  The  army 
had  waited  in  vain  for  him  to  place  himself  at  its 
head ;  then  Catherine  II  threatened  him,  and  as 
usual  he  dared  not  disobey.  "  Yielding  to  the 
desire  of  the  Empress,"  he  told  his  subjects,  "  and 
to  the  necessities  of  the  country,"  he  condemned 
the  proceedings  of  the  long  Diet  in  which  he  had 
recognized  the  salvation  of  Poland  at  that  one  great 
moment  of  his  life  when  he  had  thrown  in  his  lot 
with  the  noble  party  of  patriotic  reform ;  and  now, 
as  the  mouthpiece  of  Catherine  II,  he  pronounced 
the  nation's  only  safety  to  he  with  the  promoters 
of  Targowica.  The  most  favourable  view  of  Stanislas 
Augustus's  conduct  has  httle  more  to  urge  in  his 
favour  than  that  he  was  neither  a  fool  nor  a  hero, 
saw  no  hope  of  success  in  the  national  movement, 
and  preferred  to  throw  in  his  lot  with  the  other  side. 
It  was  on  the  23rd  of  July  that  the  King  signed  the 
Confederation  of  Targowica.     The  news  fell  as  the 


sentence  of  death  upon  the  Pohsh  camp  that  was 
palpitating  with  patriotic  ardour.  In  the  presence 
of  all  his  officers  Poniatowski  wrote  to  the  King  as 
plainly  as  he  dared  :  "  News  is  here  going  through 
the  camp  which  surel}^  must  be  spread  by  ill-disposed 
men  who  wish  evil  to  Your  Majesty,  as  though 
Your  Majesty  would  treat  with  the  betrayers  of 
our  country.  The  degradation  of  cringing  to 
the  betrayers  of  our  country  would  be  our 
grave."  ^ 

The  army,  was,  however,  bidden  bj/  the  King  to 
lay  down~arms,  and  was  recalled  to  Warsaw.  "  It 
is  impossible  to  express  the  grief,  despair,  and  anger 
of  the  army  against  the  King,"  wrote  Kosciuszko 
several  months  later  as  he  collected  his  memories 
of  the  campaign  in  the  manuscript  notes  referred 
to  above.  "  The  Prince-Oeneral  himself  gave  proof 
of  the  greatest  attachment  to  the  country.  All 
recognized  the  King's  bad  will,  since  there  was  still 
the  possibility  of  defeating  the  Russian  army." 
Kosciuszko  was  present  at  one  of  the  conferences 
held  after  the  arrival  of  the  Royal  mandate  between 
the  Polish  commander  and  Kachowski ;  and  he 
could  not  restrain  tears  of  wrath  as  he  took  stock 
of  the  Russian  officers  whom  he  was  convinced  that, 
were  it  not  for  treachery  at  headquarters,  Poland 
could  have  overcome.  Honour  forbade  the  Polish 
officers  to  retain  their  commissions  any  longer  in  a 
service  that  was  no  more  national,  but  that  was 
in  the  domination  of  Russia  and  of  those  who  were 
playing  into  her  hands.  On  the  march  back  to 
Warsaw,  PoniatowsM^ent  in  his  resignation  to  the 
King,  and  on  another  page  of  The '  same^^document 

I  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko, 

THE   FIRST   FIGHT   FOR    POLAND        79 

Kosciuszko — followed  by  hundreds  of  others — in  a 
few  laconic  words  laid  down  histardily-  and  hardly 
won  command. 

"Since,"  his  note  runs,  "the  change  in  the 
national  conditions  are  contrary  to  my  original  oath 
and  internal  convictions,  I  have  the  honour  to  request 
Your  Royal  Majesty  for  the  favour  of  signing  my 

"  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko." 

"  We  have  sent  our  notes  to  the  King,"  writes 
Kosciuszko  to  his  warm  friend,  Adam  Czartoryski's 
wife,  to  whom  he  poured  out  the  wounds  of  his 
heart,  bleeding  at  the  sight  of  the  terrible  danger 
under  which  his  country  was  being  submerged, 
"  requesting  for  our  resignations,  and  for  this  reason, 
that  in  time  we  may  not  be  drawn  into  an  oath 
against  our  convictions,  that  we  may  not  be  col- 
leagues of  those  three  [Branicki,  Felix  Potocki,  and 
Rzewuski],  and  for  fear  that  the  King,  if  we  requested 
later  on  for  our  resignations,  will  by  that  time  not 
have  the  power  to  grant  them  to  us.  Therefore,  we 
wish  to  secure  ourselves,  declaring  to  the  King  that 
if  there  is  nothing  against  the  country  in  these 
negotiations  [with  Russia],  and  if  those  personages 
will  not  be  in  the  army,  then  we  will  serve,  and 
withdraw  our  resignations.  I  expect  to  be  in  Warsaw 
this  week,  where  I  shall  assuredly  find  out  something 
more  certain  about  this  change.  Oh,  my  God  ! 
why  wilt  Thou  not  give  us  the  means  of  rooting  out 
the  brood  of  the  adversaries  of  the  nation's  happi- 
ness ?  I  feel  unceasing  wrath  against  them.  Day  p 
and   nighTlhat    one    thought    is    forced    upon  me, 


and  I  shudder  at  the  recollection  of  what  end  may 
befall  our  country."  ^ 

He  reached  Warsaw,  and  was  summoned  by  the 
King  to  an  audience.  Then  a  dramatic  scene  took 
place.  The  plainT"  reserved  soldier,  the  Puritan 
patriot  as  a  PoHsh  historian  calls  him,  was  con- 
fronted with  the  monarch  who  was  a  trained  orator, 
to  whom  elegance  of  dress  and  manner  were  a  study 
of  moment,  whose  handsome  face  and  captivating 
address  had  won  him  the  favour — a  fatal  gift  for 
Poland — of  the  Semiramis  of  the  North.  Against 
every  cajolement  of  one  who  was  an  adept  in  the 
arts  of  blandishment,  promise  and  flattery,  Kos- 
I  ciuszko  had  but  one  argument :  that  of  the  straight- 
;  forward  devotion  that  saw  his  country  outraged, 
and  that  would  accept  no  compromise  where  duty 
I  to  that  country  and  to  his  own  honour  were  con- 
cerned. In  his  boyhood  Kosciuszko  had  been  in 
marked  manner  dependent  on  the  King's  favour. 
Now — as  at  a  later  crisis  in  their  mutual  relations — 
it  is  clear  that,  however  outspoken  his  language  to 
his  sovereign,  Kosciuszko  never  forgot  a  subject's 
respect.  Let  him  tell  what  passed  in  his  own  words  : 
"^ "  The  King  strongly  urged  me,  sought  to  persuade, 
to  convince  me,  finally  sent  me  ladies  known  as 
being  in  relations  with  him,  if  only  we  would  not 
abandon  him  and  would  not  insist  on  our  resig- 
nations. I  always  gave  him  the  same  answer, 
shattering  all  his  arguments,  so  that  he  was  often 
embarrassed  what  to  answer  me.  At  last  with 
tears  I  told  him  that  we  had  deserved  some  con- 
sideration, fighting  for  our  country,  for  the  state, 
for  Your   Royal  Majesty,   and  that  we  will  never 

*  T.  KoTzon,  Kosciuszko. 

THE   FIRST   FIGHT   FOR   POLAND        81 

act  against  our  convictions  and  honour.  No  one 
has  yet  chosen  pubUcly  to  proclaim  those  scoundrels 
as  infamous  traitors.  I  alone  have  said  this  openly 
in  the  presence  of  the  King,  to  which  he  answered  : 
'  Leave  them  to  their  shame.'  "  ^ 

Kosciuszko  thus  remained  master  of  the  situation. 
Stanislas  Augustus  was  silenced  before  an  integrity 
that  would  not  bend  before  him.  On  August 
the  Russian  army  entered  Warsaw  as  conquerors. 
The  Kmg"was"  virtually  a  prisoner,  for  whom  neither 
side  felt  compassion  or  respect,  in  the  hands  of 
Russia.  By  a  rescript  of  Catherine  II  the  Polish 
arniy  was  drafted  into  small  divisions  and  scattered 
through  the  country,  thus  rendered  powerless.  The 
reforms  of  the  Constitution  wer_fi_set_aside.  Russia 
ruled  the  country  behind  her  puppets,  the  leaders 
of^T^argowica.  The  second  partition  was  only  a 
question  of  time. 

Radom  was  designated  to  Kosciuszko  as  his  head- 
quarters ;  but  his  determination  to  serve  no  more 
under  the  betrayers  of  his  country  held  firm.  He 
remained  two  months  longer  in  Warsaw  in  the 
seclusion  of  an  abandonment  of  grief,  choosing  to 
stay  within  walls  rather  than  see  the  streets  of  the 
capital  of  Poland  under  the  Russian  heel.  The 
last  piece  of  business  with  which  he  concerned 
himself  in  the  official  capacity  he  was  surrender- 
ing for  honour's  sake  was  to  recommend  to  the 
King's  notice  several  officers,  including  Kniaziewicz, 
for  their  gallantry  in  the  late  war.  Amidst  his 
heavy  anxieties  he  made  time  to  write  to  a  friend, 
whose  name  we  do  not  know,  but  who,  to  judge 
from  the  letter's   closing  words—"  I  bid  you  fare- 

I  op.  cit. 


well,  embracing  you  a  thousand  times  with  the  most 
tender  affection  for  ever  " — was  one  very  dear  to 
Kosciuszko,  begging  him  to  relieve  the  necessities 
of  some  individual  whose  position  in  Warsaw 
without  means  had  aroused  the  writer's  pity.  ^ 

"  Watering  my  native  soil  with  my  tears," — thus 
he  writes  to  Felix  Potocki,  in  an  outburst  of  the 
patriotic  indignation  that  even  his  enemies  respected 
— "  I  am  going  to  the  New  World,  to  my  second 
country  to  which  I  have  acquired  a  right  by  fighting 
for  her  independence.  Once  there,  I  shall  beseech 
Providence  for  a  stable,  free,  and  good  government 
in  Poland,  for  the  independence  of  our  nation,  for 
virtuous,  enlightened,  and  free  inhabitants  therein."  ^ 
He  fell  sick  for  sorrow  at  the  thought  of  his 
nation's  future.  From  his  bed  of  convalescence  in 
the  famous  Blue  Palace  of  the  Czartoryskis  in 
Warsaw  he  wrote  to  Michal  Zaleski,  acquainting 
him  with  his  intention  to  repair  as  soon  as  the  fever 
left  him  to  Galicia,  thence  : 

"...  possibly  to  Switzerland  or  England,  whence 
I  shall  watch  the  course  of  events  in  our  country. 
If  they  make  for  the  happiness  of  the  country,  I 
,  shall  return  ;    if  not,   I  shall  move  on  further.     I 
I  shall  enter  no  foreign  service,  and  if  I  am  forced 
■  to  it  by  my  poverty  then  I  shall  enter  a  service  where 
there  is  a  free  state — but  with  an  unchanging  attach- 
ment to  my  country  which  I  might  serve  no  longer, 
as  I  saw  nothing  to  convince  me  of  the  amelioration  of 
the  government  or  that  gave  any  hope  for  the  future 
happiness  of  our  country  in  the  measures  at  present 
taken  " — meaning,  of  course,  under  the  rule  of  the 
Confederation  of   Targowica.     "  I   would  not  enter 

"  Letters  of  Kosciustko.  »  Op.  cit. 

THE   FIRST   FIGHT   FOR   POLAND        83 

into  undertakings  of  which  the  end  is  unknown  : 
I  feared  lest,  if  only  indirectly,  they  should  contribute 
to  the  unhappiness  of  the  nation.  I  do  not  doubt 
that  there  are  men  even  among  the  Targowicians 
who  are  trying  to  serve  their  country,  but  I  know 
not  if  they  can,  and  if  they  are  in  the  way  of  doing 
it.  With  my  whole  heart  and  soul  I  long  that  some 
one  experienced  in  affairs  could  enlighten  me,  for  I 
am  in  the  darkness  of  night."  ^ 

Told    in    the    light    of    subsequent    events,    from  \ 
standing    ground    removed    from    the    passion    and   \ 
confusion  of  a  present  strife,   with,   moreover,   the    j 
diplomatic  intrigues  of  Russia  and  Prussia  laid  open 
before  our  eyes  by  modern  research,  the  issues  of 
this  period  of  Poland's  history  are  intelUgible  enough  ; 
but  to  the  combatants  in  the  arena  the  Hne  was  not 
so  defined.     Some  among  the  Poles  of  the  period, 
even  including  men  of  no  mean  capacity,  wavered 
as  to  whether  Catherine  II  were  not  genuinely  pre- 
pared  to   guarantee   a   free   Poland   under   Russian 
protection.     The   leaders   of   Targowica   have    been 
branded    with    the    name    of    traitors,    and    justly ; 
but  it  seems  as  though  they  proceeded  rather  as 
hotheaded   and   unpatriotic   malcontents   than   with 
the  dehberate  intention  of  betraying  their  country. 
Kosciuszko  was  ill-versed,  either  by  nature,  training,"! 
oTTnciinatIon71n~the  art  of  politics  ;  but  through  |     >^ 
this    tangled    we'b~''H'''^fplexky~lind    uncertainty,  j 

when   present    and   future   were   equally   enveloped  ) 

in  obscurity,  his  singleness  of  aim  suppUed  him  with 
the  unerring  ilis^ncr'wrth  whicIT  through  the  whole 
of  his  life  he  met  and  unmasked  the  pitfalls  that  were 
spread  before  the  unhappiest  and  the  most  cruelly 

»  Ibid. 


betrayed  of  nations.  Under  the  dictates  of  this 
pure  patriotism  he  directed  himself  unfalteringly 
through  the~most  difficult  and  involved  hours  of 
his  nation's  history,  allowing  neither  friendship, 
tradition,  nor  personal  advantage  to  obscure  for 
one  moment  the  great  object  he  had  at  stake — his 
country's  good.  He  now  laid  down  high  rank, 
parted  with  fortune  upon  which  his  hand  had  barely 
had  time  to  close,  and  prepared  to  face  an  uncertain 
future  in  a  foreign  land.  On  the  eve  of  his  departure 
from  Poland  he  wrote  to  Princess  Czartoryska  : 

"  I  was  faithful  to  my  country ;  I  fought  for  her 
and  would  have  offered  myself  a  hundred  times  to 
death  for  her.  Now  it  seems  as  if  the  end  of  my 
services  for  her  is  at  hand ;  perhaps  this  uniform 
which  I  am  wearing  will  be  the  badge  of  shame. 
I  will  cast  it  off  betimes,  and  lay  my  sword  in  the 
grave  till  future  better  times.  ...  I  will  once  more 
bid  farewell  to  you.  Princess,  whom  all  adore  for 
your  virtues  and  devotion.  I  kiss  the  hands  which 
have  often  dried  tears  shed  for  our  country."  * 

Before  leaving  his  native  land,  as  far  as  he  knew 
for  ever,  he  sent,  together  with  his  farewell  to  the 
sister  whom  he  never  saw  again,  his  last  disposition 
of  the  home  to  which  his  heart  clung  with  deep 
affection,  and  which  was  to  be  his  no  more. 

"  Permit  me,  my  sister,  to  embrace  you,  and 
because  this  may  be  the  last  time  I  shall  be  given 
that  happiness  I  desire  that  you  should  know  my 
will,  that  I  bequeath  to  you  my  estate  of  Siech- 
nowicze,  and  that  you  have  the  right  to  bequeath 
it  either  to  one  of  your  sons  or  to  any  one,  but  under 
one  condition  :    that  Susanna  and  Faustin  shall  be 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko, 


THE  FIRST   FIGHT   FOR   POLAND        85        v^i!' 

kept  in  every  comfort  until  their  death  ;    that  the  \ 

peasants  from  every  house  in  the  whole  estate  shall 
not  do  more  than  two  days  of  forced  labour  for 
the  men,  and  for  the  women  none  at  all.  If  it  were 
another  country  where  the  government  could  ensure 
my  will,  I  would  free  them  entirely ;  but  in  this 
country  we  must  do  what  we  are  certain  of  being 
able  to  do  to  relieve  humanity  in  any  way,  and 
always  remember  that  by  nature  we  are  all  equals, 
that  riches  and  education  coh~sTituie~ltTre^hry  differ- 
ence ;  ~That  we"ougIrr*to  have  consideration  for  the 
poor  and  instruct  ignorance,  thus  bringing  about 
good  morals.  I  am  sending  you  my  signature  so^_^ 
that  you  can  act  legally  according  to  my  wish,  so 
that  later  no  disputes  shall  arise  against  you  or 
your  sons.  Farewell !  I  embrace  you  with  the 
tenderest  heart. 

"  Embrace  Susanna  for  me,"  he  adds  in  a  post- 
script.    "  Thank  her  for  the  friendship  she  has  shown 
me.      Remember   me   to   Faustin   and  to   your  son 
Stanislas.     Let  him  give  his  children  a  good  repub-    \ 
lican  education  with  the  virtues  of. justice,  honesty,     j 
and  honour."  ^  \ 

The  letter  has  come  down  to  us  with  its  small 
clear  handwriting,  a  few  words  in  the  postscript 
erased  with  the  scrupulous  neatness  of  the  whole 
document.  We  can  best  realize  how  near  the  con- 
dition of  the  peasants  lay  to  Kosciuszko's  heart 
when  we  reflect  that  it  filled  his  parting  communi- 
cation to  his  sister,  written  at  the  moment  when, 
full  of  sorrow  and  anxiety,  he  was  going  into  the 
unknown  road  of  exile.  He  left  Poland  in  the 
early  days  of  October,  having  'won,  says  Korzon, 
n^v     t  op.  cit. 


the  esteem  of  friend  and  foe  alike.  Before  crossing 
the  frontier  into  what  was  Pohsh  soil,  but  since 
Austria  had  taken  possession  of  it  at  the  first  par- 
tition was  politically  recognized  as  Poland  no  longer, 
he  unbuckled  his  sword  and,  hfting  his  hands  to 
heaven,  prayed  that  he  might  be  given  once  again 
to  draw  it  in  the  defence  of  his  dearly  loved  land. 



THE    EVE    OF    THE    RISING 

In  Galicia,  Kosciuszko  was  welcomed  by  a  crowd 
of  sympathizers.  The  Czartoryskis,  then  residing 
on  their  Gahcian  estates,  showed  him  such  marked 
proofs  of  their  admiration  that  it  was  even  said, 
without  foundation,  that  Princess  Czartoryska  des- 
tined Kosciuszko  for  the  husband  of  one  of  the 
princesses.  A  married  daughter  drew  his  portrait, 
inscribing  it,  after  the  taste  of  the  epoch,  with  the 
words  :  "  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko,  good,  vaHant,  but 
unhappy."  On  his  feast-day,  October  28th,  the 
ladies  of  the  family  presented  him  with  a  wreath 
woven  of  leaves  from  an  oak  planted  by  the  Polish 
hero  with  whose  name  Kosciuszko's  is  often  coupled  : 
Jan  Sobieski,  the  deliverer  of  Christendom.  At 
the  banquet  held  on  this  occasion  was  present,  not 
only  Kosciuszko's  friend,  Orlowski,  like  him  banished 
and  for  the  same  reason,  but  a  young  son  of  the 
house  who  had  fought  in  the  recent  Russo-Polish 
war,  Adam  Czartoryski,  soon  to  be  removed  by 
Catherine  II's  orders  as  a  hostage  to  the  Russian 
court,  and  who  in  later  life  was  one  of  the  principal 
and  noblest  figures  in  Polish  politics  of  the  nine- 
teenth century.  We  shall  see  his  path  again  touching 
Kosciuszko's  at  a  critical  juncture  in  the  history  of 
their  nation. 



The  bitterness  of  an  exile's  wanderings,  so  familiar 
to  the  generations  of  Poles  that  followed  through 
the  unhappy  years  of  the  succeeding  century,  was 
now  to  be  tasted  by  Poland's  national  hero.  The 
Austrian  Government  took  alarm  at  the  evidences 
of  popularity  that  were  showered  upon  him.  The 
Russian  Government  would  not  have  his  presence 
near  the  Polish  frontiers,  and  the  Russian  sentries 
received  orders  to  be  on  the  look-out  not  to  permit 
him  to  enter  any  Polish  town.  Legends  ran  through 
the  ranks  of  the  superstitious  Muscovite  soldiery 
that  Kosciuszko  had,  notwithstanding,  come  up  to 
the  sentries,  and  when  fired  upon  had  changed 
himself  into  the  form  of  a  cat.  Such  tales  apart, 
on  December  5th  he  was  given  notice  by  the  Austrian 
authorities  to  quit  the  country  within  twelve  hours. 

"  I  am  grieved  to  leave  beloved  Poland,  my  friends 
and  so  many  hearts  that  were  good  to  me,"  sadly 
writes  Kosciuszko.  Spies  and  secret  agents  were 
watching  the  posts ;  so  he  and  his  fellow-Poles 
protected  themselves  and  their  correspondence  by 
various  precautions,  fictitious  names,  confidential 
messengers.  "  Bieda  " — misfortune — was  the  pseu- 
donym by  whicir"Kosciuszko,  his  heart  heavy. with 
foreboding  for  his  country  and  grief  at  her  loss, 
signed  himself,  and  wished  to  be  known,  as  he  set 
out  for  a  foreign  land.  Cracow  lay  in  the  route  that 
as  a  fugitive  from  the  Austrian  Government  he  was_ 
obliged  to  choose.  He  tarried  a  few  days  in  the 
beautiful  old  city  that  is  the  sepulchre  of  Poland's 
kings,  and  where  he  was  after  death  to  lie  in  the 
last  resting-place  of  those  whom  his  nation  most 
honours.     Thence  he  journeyed  to  Leipzig. 

In   Leipzig   were   the    men   of   the   nation   whose 

THE   EVE   OF   THE   RISING  89 

minds  and  aims  were  in  the  closest  sympathy  with 
his.  Kollontaj,  Ignacy  and  Stanislas  Potocki,  and 
the  band  of  Poles  who  had  been  responsible  for  the 
drawing  up  of  the  Constitution  of  the  3rd  of  May, 
had  gathered  together  in  the  Saxon  city  out  of 
reach  of  Russian  vengeance,  where  they  could  best 
concert  measures  for  saving  Poland.  In  January 
1793  the  news  reached  them  that  Prussia,  whose 
attitude  in  regard  to  scraps  of  paper  is  no  recent 
development,  had  helped  herself  to  that  portion  of 
Great  Poland  which  had  escaped  her  at  the  first 
partition,  and  to  Thorn  and  Danzig,  which  she  had 
so  long  coveted,  while  Russia  took  the  southern 
provinces  of  Poland  and  part  of  Lithuania. 

But  the  camp  of  PoHsh  patriots  in  Leipzig  would 
not  give  Poland  up  for  lost.  "  She  will  not  remain 
without  assistance  and  means  to  save  her,"  wrote 
Kollontaj.  "  Let  them  do  what  they  will ;  they 
will  not  bring  about  her  destruction."  "  Kosciuszko 
is  now  in  Paris" — this  was  'early  in  1793.  "He 
is  going  to  England  and  Sweden."  As  a  matter 
of  fact  he  went  to  neither  at  that  time.  "  That 
upright  man  is  very  useful  to  his  country."  ^ 

It  was  to  France,  which  had  won  Kosciuszko's 
heart  in  his  youth,  and  whose  help  he  had  seen 
given  to  America  in  the  latter's  struggle  for  her 
freedom,  that  he  now  made  his  way  to  beg  a  young 
Republic's  assistance  for  his  country.  He  was  not 
a  diplomat  himself ;  but  Kollontaj  and  Ignacy 
Potocki  were  behind  him  with  their  instructions. 
Fortune  never  favoured  Kosciuszko,  He  arrived  in 
Paris^'sHortly  before  the  execution  of  Louis  XVI. 
He  may  even  have  been  in  the  crowd  around  the 

1  Letters  of  Hugo  Kollontaj. 


scaffold,  the  witness  of  a  scene  that,  however  strong 
his  popular  sympathies,  would  have  inspired  a  man 
of  his  stamp  with  nothing  but  horror  and  con- 
demnation. The  European  coalition  was  formed 
against  France :  and  Poland  was  forgotten.  The 
i-^c^T,  second  partition  by  which  Russia  and  Prussia 
secure^^the  booty  that  they  had,  as  we  have  seen, 
a  few  months  previously  arrogated  to  themselves, 
was  effected  in  a  Europe  convulsed  with  war,  that 
little  noticed^andr^carceljr  protested  against  the 
dislnemberment  of  a  European  state  and  the  aggran- 
dizement  ^f_two  JoJEers,  wfth'its  fatal  consequence 
ofTrussia's  rise  to  power.  The  tale  of  the  scene 
in  the  Diet  of  Grodno,  convoked  under  the  com- 
pulsion of  the  Russian  armies  to  ratify  the  partition, 
is  well  known  :  how  the  few  deputies  who  consented 
to  attend  sat  with  Russian  cannon  turned  upon 
them,  while  Russian  troops  barred  all  the  exits  of 
the  hall  and  carried  off  by  night  to  Siberia  those 
members  who  protested  against  the  overthrow  of 
their  nation  :  how  the  group  of  Poles,  deprived  of 
all  other  means  of  defending  their  country,  opposed 
an  absolute  silence  to  every  proposal  of  their  enemies, 
till  the  deed  was  signed  that  left  only  a  shred  of 
territory,  in  its  turn  doomed  to  fresh  destruction, 
to  the  Republic  of  Poland. 

From  Lebrun,  the  French  Minister  of  Foreign 
Affairs,  Kosciuszko  succeeded  in  winning  the  promise 
of  financial  assistance  in  the  war  for  Polish  indepen- 
dence that  the  national  party  was  projecting  ;  but 
shortly  after  his  interview  with  Kosciuszko  Lebrun 
lost  liberty  and  office.  With  Danton  Kosciuszko 
would  have  nothing  to  do,  and  in  the  sanguinary 
scenes  of  the  Terror  all  pubHc  traces  of  the  Pole  are 

THE   EVE   OF   THE   RISING  91 

lost.  It  is  certain  that  he  had  no  dealings  with 
Robespierre  or  with  any  of  the  men  who  then 
sat  in  the  French  revolutionary  tribunals.  How 
strongly  he  abhorred  their  manner  of  revolution  is 
proved  not  only  from  expressions  he  let  drop  during 
his  own  dictatorship,  but  still  more  by  his  mode  of 
proceeding  when  he  himself  was  responsible  for  a 
new  government  of  state.  He  was  a  democrat  p 
always  ;_but  jn_the  best  sense  of^  the  jword". 

Seeing  that  there  wa^^iio 'prospect  of  gaining  any- 
thing for  Poland  from  France,  Kosciuszko  remained 
in  seclusion  during  his  further  stay  in  Paris,  writing 
in  the  blood-stained  city  the  record  to  which  we  have 
already  alluded  of  the  national  war  in  which  he  had 
lately  fought.  In  this  work  he  freely  criticizes  all 
the  errors  on  the  part  of  its  leaders  which  he  had 
seen,  and  in  vain  pointed  out  to  Poniatowski,  during 
its  course  ;  but  nothing  could  shake  his  conviction 
that  the  Polish  cause  could  have  triumphed.  "  If," 
he  writes,  "  the  whole  army  had  been  assembled 
beyond  the  Vistula  with  volunteers  and  burghers 
from  the  cities  of  Warsaw  and  Cracow,  it  would 
have  risen  to  sixty  thousand,  and  with  a  king  at  its 
head,  fighting  for  its  country  and  independence,  what 
power,  I  ask,  could  have  conquered  it  ?  "  He  refers 
to  the  sights  he  had  beheld  in  the  American  War  as 
a  proof  of  what  soldiers  could  do  without  pay,  if 
animated  by  enthusiasm  for  a  sacred  cause.  That 
patriotic  fire,  says  he,  burned  as  brightly  in  his  own 
country  :  the  Polish  soldier,  the  Polish  citizen,  were 
equally  ready  to  sacrifice  all.  "  The  spirit  was  | 
everywhere,  but  no  use  was  made  of  their  enthu-  \  (^ 
siasm  and  patriotism.  .  .  .  The  weakness  of  the  } 
King  without  military  genius,  without  character  or  j 


love  of  his  country,  has  now  plunged  our  country, 
perhaps  for  ever,  into  anarchy  and  subjection  to 
Muscovy."  I 

Thus  wrote  Kosciuszko  in  the  day  when  a  peasant 
soldiery  was  unknown  in  Poland  ;  and  a  few  months 
later  he  was  leading  his  regiments  of  reapers  and 
boatmen  to  the  national  Rising, 

There  was  nothing  more  for  him  to  do  in  Paris. 
His  intended  attempt  in  England  was  given  up,  for 
Kollontaj  received  a  broad  hint  from  the  British 
representative  in  Saxony  that  Kosciuszko's  presence 
would  be  both  unwelcome  to  George  III  and  profit- 
less to  the  Polish  cause.  Kosciuszko  may  then 
have  gone  on  from  France  to  Brussels,  but  in  the 
summer  of  1793  he  was  back  in  Leipzig  in  close 
consultatioiTwrth  Ignacy  Potocki, 

The  condition  of  Poland  was  by  now  lamentable. 
Her  position  War1±Ht"of~arTmfidir  aFfhe  meFcy  of 
a  foreign  army,  ravaged  by  war,  although  she  was 
not  at  war.  Russians  garrisoned  every  town. 
Russian  soldiers  were  systematically  pillaging  and 
devastating  the  country  districts,  terrorizing  village 
and  town  alike.  Poles  were  arrested  in  their  own 
houses  at  the  will  of  their  Russian  conquerors,  and 
despatched  to  Siberia.  Hidden  confederations,  espe- 
cially among  the  Pohsh  youth,  were  being  carried  on 
all  over  Poland,  preparing  to  rise  in  defence  of  the 
national  freedom.  In  the  teeth  of  the  Russian 
garrison  and  of  Catherine  IPs  plenipotentiary,  Igel- 
strom,  Warsaw  sent  secret  emissaries  to  the  scattered 
remnants  of  the  Polish  army  ;  and  in  the  conferences 
that  were  held  at  dead  of  night  the  choice  of  the 

'  MS.  of   Kosciuszko  in  Pictures  of  Poles  and  of  Poland  in  the 
Eighteenth  Century,  by  Edward  Raczynski. 

THE   EVE   OF   THE   RISING  93 

nation  fell  upon  Kosciuszko  as  the  leader  above 
all  others  who  should  avenge  the  national  dishonour 
and  wrest  back  at  the  point  of  the  sword  the  inde- 
pendence of  Poland.  In  the  beginning  of  September 
I7Q3  two  j^olish  delegates  carried  the  proposal  to 
him  where  lie  stUrremained  in  Leipzig:  '~'    " 

~TEe  great  moment  in  the  life  of  Tadeusz  Kos- 
ciuszko had  now  arrived.  His  fiery  and  enthusiastic 
soul  leapt  to  its  call ;  but  with  none  of  the  headlong 
precipitance  that  would  have  been  its  ruin.  Kos- 
ciuszko was  too  great  a  patriot  to  disdain  wariness 
and  cool  calculation.  He  never  stirred  without 
seeing"eaCh— stgp^early  mapped  out  before  him. 
He  took  his  counsels  with  Potocki  and  his  other 
Polish  intimates  in  Saxony  ;  then  formulated  his 
plan  of  the  Rising.  Each  district  of  Poland  and 
Lithuania  was  to  be  under  the  command  of  some 
citizen  who  would  undertake  secretly  to  beat  up 
the  inhabitants  to  arms.  The  people  could  choose 
their  own  officers  according  to  the  general  wish. 
Special  insistence  was  laid  on  the  duties  of  caUing 
the  peasants  to  fight  side  by  side  with  the  land- 
owners. The  PoHsh  peasant  had  hitherto  been 
counted  incapable  of  bearing  arms :  Kosciuszko 
overrode  this  ancient  prejudice  with  results  that 
have  given  one  of  the  finest  pages  to  the  history 
of  Poland. 

He  then  went  alone  with  his  confidant,  Zajonczek, 
to  the  Polish  frontiers  to  collect  information.  He 
sent  round  messengers  to  the  different  provinces  of 
Poland  and  Lithuania  carrying  his  letters  and  full 
instructions,  while  Zajonczek,  under  a  false  name, 
was  despatched  to  Warsaw.  The  report  the  latter 
gave   to    Kosciuszko   on   his   return   was   not   satis- 



factory.  Matters  were  not  as  yet  ripe  for  the  under- 
taking. Financial  means  in  the  widespread  ruin 
that  had  come  upon  Poland  through  the  over- 
running of  her  territories  by  a  hostile  soldiery  were 
lacking,  in  spite  of  the  private  generosity  of  such 
a  donor  as  the  Warsaw  banker,  Kapostas.  The 
difficulties  of  getting  together  a  fighting  force  when 
Russian  soldiers,  closely  supervising  every  move- 
ment of  the  Poles,  occupied  the  country  and  the 
Polish  divisions  had  been  purposely  drafted  to 
great  distances  from  each  other  by  the  Empress, 
were  almost  insuperable.  The  peasant  rising  upon 
which  Kosciuszko  had  built  his  best  hopes  was 
unprepared.  But  two  elements  remained  that 
should,  as  pointed  out  by^ajonczek,  consolidate 
and  ensure  a  _great  national  ^sjng :  universal 
detestation  of_the^  Russian  and  limitless  confidence 
in  the  chosen  national  leader.  Kosciuszko  deemed 
it  advisable  to  wait.  "  It  is  impossible,"  he  said 
after  receiving  Zajonczek's  report,  "  to  build  on 
such  frail  foundations  ;  for  it  would  be  a  sad  thing 
to  begin  lightly  and  without  consideration,  only  to 
fall."  He  himself,  recognizable  as  he  was  through 
all  Poland,  was  too  well  known  to  act  as  a  secret 
propagandist  in  his  own  country  ;  so  in  order  to 
throw  dust  in  the  eyes  of  Russia  and  Prussia  he 
retired  to  Italy  for  some  months.  In  Florence  he 
found  Niemcewicz.  Niemcewicz  tells  how  one  night 
as  he  sat  reading  by  his  lamp  the  door  burst  open, 
the  Polish  greeting,  "  Praised  be  Jesus  Christ," 
rang  on  the  exile's  ear,  and  a  former  colleague  of 
the  poet's  hurried  in  with  the  simple  words  :  "I 
have    come    for    Kosciuszko."  ^     But    the    last    act 

I  J.  Niemcewicz,  Recollections  of  My  Tin%es,      Paris,  1848  (Polish). 


was  played  out  in  Dresden,  that  for  long  after 
Ko^ciuszko's  day  remained  a  stronghold  of  Polish 
emigration.  While  Kosciuszko  was  taking  final 
deliberation  there  with  Kollontaj  and  Ignacy  Potocki, 
two  Poles  came  straight  from  Poland,  and  on  their 
knees  besougkL-^^sciuszko  to  give  the  word.  The 
moment  was  now  or  never.  PlacarHs~were  being 
fastened  mysteriously  on  the  walls  of  Warsaw, 
calling  to  the  Poles  to  rise.  Patriotic  writings  were 
scattered  broadcast,  patriotic  articles  printed,  in 
spite  of  the  rigorous  Russian  censorship,  in  the  Polish 
papers.  Plays  were  acted  in  the  theatre  whose 
double  meaning,  uncomprehended  by  the  Russians 
who  sat  in  crowds  in  the  audience,  were  fiery 
appeals  to  PpUsh  patriotism.  The  streets  of  Warsaw, 
all  Poland  and  Lithuania,  were  seething  with  agita- 
tion and  secret  hope.  The  suspicions  of  Igelstrom 
were  aroused.  He  resolved  to  take  over  the  arsenal 
in  Warsaw  and  to  disarm  and  demobilize  the  Polish 
army.  In  this  dilemma  Kosciuszko  was  compelled 
to  throw  his  all  on  one  card  or  to  fail.  He  there- 
fore decided^  on  the  war ;  and  in  March_i794  he 
re-entered  Poland  as  the  champion  of  her  freedom. 



A  BARN  in  the  vicinity  of  the  city  has  long  been 
shown  as  the  place  where  Kosciuszko  slept  the 
night  before  he  entered  Cracow.  The  Polish  general, 
Madahnski,  who  by  a  ruse  had  evaded  the  Russian 
order  to  disarm,  was  the  first  to  rise.  At  the  head 
of  his  small  force,  followed  by  a  hot  Russian  pursuit, 
he  triumphantly  led  his  soldiers  down  towards 
Cracow.  At  the  news  of  his  approach  the  Russian 
garrison  evacuated  the  town,  and  Kosciuszko  entered 
its  walls  a  few  hours  after  the  last  Russian  soldier 
had  left  it,  at  midday  on  March  23^794.  It 
had  been  intended  to  convene  the  meetmgof  the 
citizens  at  the  town  hall  on  that  same  day  ;  but 
the  Act  of  the  proclamation  of  the  Rising  proved  to 
be  so  erroneously  printed  that  it  could  not  be  pub- 
lished, mainly  because  Kosciuszko  was  not  an  adept 
at  putting  his  jdeas  intojwriting,  and  the  numerous 
corrections  were  too  much  for  the  printers.  The 
night  was  spent  by  Kosciuszko  in  rewriting  the 
manifesto  which  was  to  travel  all  over  Poland, 
which  was  to  be  proclaimed  from  the  walls  and 
pulpits  of  PoHsh  town  and  village,  and  despatched 



to  the  governments  of  Europe.  The  room  yet 
remains  where  he  passed  those  hours  in  the  house 
of  General  Wodzicki  who,  when  commanded  by 
Russia  to  disband  his  regiments,  had  at  Kosciuszko's 
instigation  secretly  kept  them  together,  paying  them 
out  of  his  own  pocket,  in  readiness  for  the  Rising. 

The  morning  of  March  24th_  dawned.  With 
Wodzicki  and  several  other  soldiers,  Kosciuszko 
assisted  at  a  low  Mass  in  the  Capuchin  church, 
where  the  officiating  priest  blessed  the  leader's 
sword.  "  God  grant  me  to  conquer  or  die,"  were 
Kosciuszko's  words,  as  he  received^" the"  weapon 
from  the  monk's  hand.  At  ten  o'clock  he  quietly 
walked  to  the  town  hall.  From  all  quarters  of  the 
city  dense  throngs  had  poured  into  the  market- 
place, and  pressed  outside  the  town  hall,  over- 
flowing on  to  its  steps,  surging  into  its  rooms.  In 
front  of  his  soldiers  Kosciuszko  stood  before  the 
crowds  on  the  stone  now  marked  by  a  mem.orial 
tablet,  upon  which  on  each  anniversary  of  March  24th 
the  Poles  lay  wreaths.  That  day,  that  scene,  remain 
engraved  for  ever  among  the  greatest  of  Poland's 
memories.  As  far  as  Kosciuszko's  gaze  rested  he-saw 
his  countrymen  and  countrywomen  with  eyes  turned 
to  him  as  to  the  deliverer  of  themselves  and  of  their 
country,  palpitating  for  the  moment  that  he  was 
about  to  announce,  many  of  them  wearing  his  por- 
trait and  carrying  banners  with  the  inscriptions  : 
"  Freedom  or  Death,"  "  For  our  rights  and  liberty," 
"  For  Cracow  and  our  country,"  or  "  Vivat  Kos- 
ciuszko." The  drums  were  rolled,  and  in  the  midst 
of  a  dead  silence  the  army  took  the  oath  of  the 

"I,  N.   N.,  swear  that  I  will  be  faithful  to  the 



Polish  nation,  and  obedient  to  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko, 
the  Commander-in-Chief,  who  has  been  summoned 
by  this  nation  to  the  defence  of  the  freedom,  Hberties, 
and  independence  of  our  country.  So  help  me  God 
and  the  innocent  Passion  of  His  Son." 

Then  Kosciuszko  himself  stepped  forward.  With 
bared  head,  his  eyes  lifted  to  heaven  and  his  hands 
resting  on  his  sword,  standing  in  plain  civilian  garb 
before  his  people,  surrounded  by  no  pomp  or  retinue, 
in  the  simplicity  that  was  natural  to  hira^the  new 
dictator  of  _Poland  in  his  turn  took  his  6ath/: 
,  "  I,  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko,  swear  in  the  sight  of 
•p  God  to  the  whole  Polish  nation  that  I  will  use  the 
power  entrusted  to  me  for  the  personal  oppression 
of  none,  but  will  only  use  it  for  the  defence  of  the 
integrity  of  the  boundaries,  the  regaining  of  the 
independence  of  the  nation,  and  the  solid  establish- 
ment of  universal  freedom.  So  help  me  God  and 
the  innocent  Passion  of  His  Son." 

He  then  went  inside  the  town  hall.  There  he 
was  greeted  by  cries  of  "  Long  live  Kosciuszko  ! 
Long  live  the  defender  of  our  country  !  "  When 
silence  was  restored  he  delivered  a  speech,  the  exact 
J_erms  of  which  are  not  accurately  recorded ;  but 
it  is  known  that  he  demanded  of  every  class  in  the 
country  to  rally  to  the  national  banner — nobles, 
burghers,  priests,  peasants,  Jews — and  that  he  placed 
himself  at  the  disposal  of  his  people  without  requiring 
of  them  any  oath,  for,  said  he,  both  he  and  they 
were  united  in  one  common  interest.  Then  he 
ordered  the  formal  Act  of  the  Rising  to  be  read. 
It  was  received  with  an  ~outbursF~of  applause,  and 
the  clamour  of  rejoicing  rang  to  the  skies. 

This    Act    was   in    part    grafted    on    Kosciuszko's 



personal  observation  of  the  American  Declaration 
of  Independence,  but  only  in  part.  Kosciuszko's 
own  intensely  Polish  soul  speaks  through  the  docu- 
ment— the  anguish  of  a  Pole  at  the  sight  of  his 
country's  wrongs,  the  cry  of  a  desperate  but  un- 
despairing  patriotism,  the  breathing  of  the  spirit 
that  should  bring  new  life. 

"  The  present  condition  of  unhappy  Poland  is 
known  to  the  world" — so  the  Act  opens.  "The 
iniquity  of  two  neighbouring  Powers  and  the  crimes 
of  traitors  to  the  country  have  plunged  her  into 
this  abyss.  Resolved  upon  the  destruction  of  the 
Polish  name,  Catherine  II,  in  agreement  with  the 
perjured  Frederick  William,  has  filled  up  the  measure 
of  her  crimes." 

The  treatment  of  Poland  at  the  hands  of  Russia 
and  Prussia  is  then  recapitulated  in  accents  of  the 
burning  indignation  that  such  a  recital  would 
necessarily  evoke.  Of  Austria  Kosciuszko  makes 
no  mention,  for  the  reason  that  he  believed,  erro- 
neously, as  he  was  to  learn  by  bitter  experience, 
that  her  sympathies  could  be  enlisted  for  the 
national  movement. 

"  Overwhelmed  with  this  weight  of  misfortune, 
injured  more  by  treachery  than  by  the  power  of  the 
weapons  of  the  enemies  .  .  .  having  lost  our  country 
and  with  her  the  enjoyment  of  the  most  sacred 
rights  of  freedom,  of^safety,  of  ownership,  ahke 
of  ouT  persons  and  of  pur  property,  deceived  and 
played  upon  by  some  states,  abandoned  by  others, 
we,  Poles,  citizens,  inhabitants  of  the  palatinate  of 
Cracow,  consecrating  to  our  country  our  lives  as 
the  only  possession  which  tyranny  has  not  yet  torn 
from  us,  are  about  to  take   those   last  and  violent 



measures  which  patriotic  despair  dictates  to  us. 
Having,  therefore,  the  unbroken  determination  to 
die  and  find  a  grave  in  the  ruins  of  our  own  country 
or  to  deUver  our  native  land  from  the  depredations 
of  tyranny  and  a  shameful  yoke,  we  declare  in  the 
sight  of  God,  in  the  sight  of  the  whole  human  race, 
and  especially  before  you,  O  nations,  by  whom 
liberty  is  more  highly  prized  than  all  other  posses- 
sions in  the  world,  that,  employing  the  undenied 
I  right  of  resistance  to  tyranny  and  armed  oppression, 
I  we  all,  in  one  national,  civic  and  brotherly  spirit, 
^  unite  our  strength  in  one  ;  and,  persuaded  that  the 
happy  result  of  our  great  undertaking  depends  chiefly 
on  the  strictest  union  between  us  all,  we  renounce 
all  prejudices  and  opinions  which  hitherto  have 
divided  or  might  divide  the  citizens,  the  inhabitants 
of  one  land  and  the  sons  of  one  country,  and  we 
all  promise  each  other  to  be  sparing  of  no  sacrifice 
and  means  which  only  the  holy  love  of  liberty  can 
provide  to  men  rising  in  despair  in  her  defence. 
V  "  The    deliverance    of    Poland    from    the    foreign 

0:         soldier,    the    restoration    and    sajeguarding    of    the 
\  integrity  of  her  boundaries,   the  extirpation  of 'all 

oppression  and  usurpation,  whether  foreign  or  domes- 
tic, the  firm  foundation  of  national  freedom  and  of 
the  independence  of  theJRepublic : — such  is  the  holy 
ftim  of  ojir-Kising," 

To  ensure  its  success  and  the  safety  of  the  country 
Kosciuszko  was  elected  as  Poland's  military  leader 
and  her  civil  head,  with  the  direction  that  he  should 
nommate  a  National  Council  to  be  under  his  supreme 
authority.  The  proclamation  then  enters  into  the 
details  of  his  functions  and  those  of  the  Council. 
He  alone  was  responsible  for  the  military  conduct 


of_thie_jffiax.  Its  financial  management,  the  levy  of 
taxes  for  its  support,  internal  order  and  the  adminis- 
tration of  justice,  were  under  the  jurisdiction  of 
the  Council,  to  which  was  entrusted  the  task  of 
endeavouring  to  gain  foreign  help  and  of  "  directing 
public  opinion  and  diffusing  the  national  spirit  so 
that  Country  and  Liberty  may  be  the  signal  to  all 
the  inhabitants  of  Polish  soil  for  the  greatest  sacri- 
fices." All  those  who  should  act  in  any  way  against 
the  Rising  were  to  be  punished  by  death.  Emphasis 
was  laid  on  the  fact  that  the  government  was  pro- 
visional, to  rule  only  until  the  enemy  should  be  finally 
driven  out  of  Poland,  and  that  it  held_no^  power 
of  making  a  fresh  constitution.  "  Any  sucli  act 
will  be  considered  by  usas  a  usurpation  of  the  national 
sovereignty,  similar  to  that  against  which  at  the 
sacrifice  of  our  lives  we  are  now  rising."  The  head 
of  the  government  and  the  National  Council  were 
bound  by  the  terms  of  the  Act  "  to  instruct  the 
nation  by  frequent  proclamations  on  the  true  state 
of  its  affairs,  neither  conceahng  nor  softening  the 
most  unfortunate  events.  Our  despair  is  full,  and 
the  love  of  our  country  unbounded.  The  heaviest 
misfortunes,  the  mightiest  difficulties,  will  not  succeed 
in  weakening  and  breaking  the  virtue  of  the  nation 
and  the  courage  of  her  citizens. 

"  We  all  mutually  promise  one  another  and  the 
whole  Polish  nation  steadfastness  in  the  enterprise, 
fidelity  to  its  principles,  submission  to  the  national 
rulers  specified  and  described  in  this  Act  of  our 
Rising.  We  conjure  the  commander  of  the  armed 
forces  and  the  Supreme  Council  for  the  love  of  their 
country  to  use  every  means  for  the  liberation  of 
the  nation  and  the  preservation  of  her  soil.    Laying 


in  their  hands  the  disposal  of  our  persons  and  pro- 
perty for  such  time  as  the  war  of  freedom  against 
despotism,  of  justice  against  oppression  and  tyranny, 
shall  lastj._w.e,.  desire  that  they  always  have  present 
this  gfeattruth^:  that  the  preservation  of  a  people 
is  the  higHesTTaw."  ^  '^ 

For  the  first  time  in  Poland — and  it  would  have 
been  an  equal  novelty  in  most  other  countries  of 

,^  the  period — nobles  and  peasants  side  by  side  signed 
their  adhesioiTto  the  Act  among  thousands^of  signa- 
tures. The  levy  of  the  military  forces,  the  arrange- 
ments for  the  taxation  and  the  necessary  business 
of  the  Rising,  were  at  once  set  on  foot,  and  Kos- 
ciuszko  spent  the  rest  of  March  24th  in  these  affairs 
and  in  his  heavy  correspondence.  On  the  same 
day  he  sent  out  four  more  special  addresses,  one 
to  the  Polish_and_  Lithuanian  armies,  a  second  to 
the  citizens  of  the  nation,  a  third  to  the  Polish_clergy, 
and  a  fourth  to  the  women_of_Po]and. 

In  the  manifestos  that  Ko^ciuszko  issued  all 
through  the  course  of  the  Rising  there  is  not  only 
the  note  of  the  trumpet-call,  bidding  the  people 
grapple  with  a  task  that  their  leader  promises  them 
will  be  no  easy  one ;  there  is  something  more — a 
hint  of  the  things  that  are  beyond,  an  undercurrent 
of  the  Polish  spirituality  that  confer  upon  these 
national  proclamations  their  peculiarly  Polish  quality, 
emanating  as  they  do  from  the  pen  of  a  patriot, 
whose    character   is    typically    and    entirely    Polish. 

\  Kpsciuszko  appeals_alwa.ys- to^the  id^a^  Jto  the  secret 
and  sacred  faiths  of  men^s^earts  ;  but  with  that 
strong  practical  sense  with  which  his  enthusiasm 
was  tempered  and  ennobled. 

I  Act  of  the  Rising.     T.  Korzon,  Kokciuszko. 

THE   RISING   OF  KOSCIUSZKO         103 

"  Each  of  us  has  often  sworn  to  be  faithful  to 
our  mother  country  " — thus  runs  his  manifesto  to  the 
Pohsh  and  Lithuanian  armies.  "  Let  us  keep  this 
faith  with  her  once  more,  now  when  the  oppressors, 
not  satisfied  with  the  dismemberment  of  our  soil, 
would  tear  our  weapons  from  us,  and  expose  us 
unarmed  to  the  last  misery  and  scorn.  Let  us  turn 
those  weapons  against  the  breasts  of  our  enemies, 
let  us  raise  our  country  out  of  slavery,  let  us  restore 
the  sanctity  of  the  name  of  Pole,  independence  to 
the  nation,  and  let  us  merit  the  gratitude  of  our 
native  land  and  the  glory  dear  to  a  soldier. 

"  Summoned  by  you  I  stand,  comrades,  at  your 
head.  I  have  given  my  life  to  you  ;  your  valour  and 
patriotism  are  the  surety  for  the  happiness  of  our 
beloved  country.  ,  .  .  Let  us  unite  more  strongly, 
let  us  unite  the  hearts,  hands,  and  endeavours  of 
the  inhabitants  of  the  whole  land.  Treachery  thrust 
our  weapon  from  our  hands  ;  let  virtue  raise  again 
that  weapon,  and  then  shall  perish  that  disgraceful 
yoke  under  which  we  groan. 

"  Comrades,  can  you  endure  that  a  foreign  oppres- 
sor should  disperse  you  with  shame  and  ignominj^ 
carry  off  honest  men,  usurp  our  arsenals,  and  harass 
the  remainder  of  our  unhappy  fellow-countrymen 
at  will  ?  No,  comrades,  come  with  me  ;  glory  and 
the  sweet  consolation  of  being  the  saviours~oF]your 
country  await"you.  r~give  you~my  word  that  my 
zeal  will  endeavour  to  equal  yours.  .  .  . 

"  To  the  nation  and  to  the  country  alone  do  you 
owe  fidelity.  She  calls  upon  us  to  defend  her.  In 
her  name  I  send  you  my  commands.  _  With  you, 
beloved  comrades,  I  take  for  our  ^^tchwom  :  Death 
or  Victory  !     I  trust  in  you  and  in  the  nation  which 


has   resolved   to   die   rather   than   longer   groan   in 
shameful  slavery,"  ^ 

To^  the  citizens^  he  wrote  : 

"  Fellow-citizens  !  Summoned  so  often  by  you 
to  save  our  beloved  country,  I  stand  by  your  will 
at  your  head,  but  I  shall  not  be  able  to  break  the 
outraging  yoke  of  slavery  if  I  do  not  receive  the 
speediest  and  the  most  courageous  support  from 
you.  Aid  me  then  with  your  whole  strength,  and 
hasten  to  the  banner  of  our  country.  One  zeal  in 
one  interest  ought  to  take  possession  of  the  hearts 
of  all.  Sacrifice  to  the  country  a  part  of  your 
possessions  which  hitherto  have  not  been  yours,  but 
the  spoils  of  a  despot's  soldiers." 
(  He  begs  them  to  give  men,  weapons,  horses,  linen, 
j    provisions,  to  the  national  army,  and  then  proceeds  : 

"  The  last  moment  is  now  here,  when  despair  in 
the  midst  of  shame  and  infamy  lays  a  weapon  in 
our  hands.  Only  in  the  contempt  of  death  is  the 
hope  of  the  bettering  of  our  fate  and  that  of  the 
future  generations.  .  .  .  The  first  step  to  the  casting 
off  of  slavery  is  the  risk  taken  to  become  free.  The 
first  step  to  victory  is  to  know  your  own  strength. 
.  .  .  Citizens  !  I  expect  all  from  your  zeal,  that  you 
will  with  your  whole  hearts  join  the  holy  league 
which  neither  foreign  intrigue  nor  the  desire  for 
rule,  but  only  the  love  of  freedom,  has  created. 
Whoso  is  not_with  us  js_agamst  us.  ...  I  have 
sworn  to  the  nation  that.  I  will  use  the  power 
entrusted  to  me  for  the  private  oppression  of  none, 
but  I  here  declare  that  whoever_^cts  against  our 
league  shall  be  delivered  over  as  a  traitor  and  an 
enemy"  of     the~^ count ry~to    the    criminal    tribunal 

I  March  24,  1794.     Given  in  Letters  ofKosciuszko,  ed.  L.  Siemienski. 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         105 

established  by  the  Act  of  the  nation.  We  have 
aheady  sinned  too  much  by  forbearance,  and  mainly 
by  reason  of  that  policy  public  crime  has  scarcely 
ever  been  punished."  ^ 

The  man  who  wrote  thus  was  the  strictest  of 
rmAitaJX-^isciplmaria^  and  yet  he  detested  blood- 
shed and  openly  condemned_j,ll  revolutionary  excess. 
At  a  later  moment  in  the  war  theTriend^who  shared 
his  tent  tells  how  Kosciuszko  struggled  with  him- 
self through  a  sleepless  night  in  the  doubt  as 
to  whether  he  had  done  well  to  condemn  a  certain 
traitor  to  the  capital  punishment  which  he  could 
never  willingly  bring  himself  to  inflict. 

The  manifesto  to  the  clergy  is  on  the  ordinary 
lines.  In  that  to  the  wornen  of  Poland  the  ever- 
courteous  and  chivalrous  Kosciuszko  speaks  in  the 
following  terms  : 

"  Ornament  of  the  human  race,  fair  sex  !  I 
truly  suffer  at  the  sight  of  your  anxiety  for  the 
fate  of  the  daring  resolution  which  the  Poles  are 
taking  for  the  liberation  of  our  country.  Your 
tears  which  that  anxiety  draws  forth  from  tender 
hearts  penetrate  the  heart  of  your  compatriot  who 
is  consecrating  himself  to  the  common  happiness. 
Permit  me,  fellow-citizenesses,  to  give  you  my 
idea,  in  which  may  be  found  the  gratification  of 
your  tenderness  and  the  gratification  of  the  public 
necessity.  Such  is  the  lot  of  oppressed  humanity 
that  it  cannot  keep  its  rights  or  regain^them  other- 
wise than  by  offerings  painful  and  costly  to  sensitive 
hearts,^  sacrificing  themselves  entirely  for  the  cause 
of  freedom, 

"  Your  brothers,   your  sons,   your  husbands,   are 

I  March  24,   1794.     Op.  cit. 


arming  for  war.  Our  blood  is  to  make  your  happi- 
ness secure.  Women  !  let  your  efforts  stanch  its 
shedding.  I  beg  you  for  the  love  of  humanity  to 
make  lint  and  bandages  for  the  wounded.  That 
offermg  "from  laiF^hands  will  relieve  the  sufferings 
of  the  wounded  and  spur  on  courage  itself."  ^ 

Kosciuszko's  appeals  to  the  nation  soon  found 
their  response.  Recruits  flocked  to  the  army,  and 
money,  weapons,  clothing,  gifts  of  all  descriptions 
came  pouring  in.  Polish  ladies  brought  their  jewels 
to  the  commander  or  sold  them  for  the  public 
fund ;  men  and  women  cheerfully  parted  with 
their  dearest  treasures.  The  inventories  range  from 
such  contributions  as  four  horses  with  a  month's 
fodder  from  a  priest,  "  five  thousand  scythes  "  given 
by  a  single  individual,  couples  of  oxen,  guns  and 
pistols,  to  bundles  of  lint,  old  handkerchiefs,  and 
what  was  probably  the  most  valued  possession  of 
its  owner,  set  down  in  the  list  of  donations  as  "  the 
gold  watch  of  a  certain  citizen  for  having  distin- 
guished himself  at  Kozubow,"  where  on  March  25th 
one  of  the  Polish  detachments  had  engaged  the 

In  the  course  of  these  patriotic  presentations 
there  occurred  an  episode  that  stands  out  among 
the  many  picturesque  incidents  in  the  romantic 
story  of  Kosciuszko's  Rising.  Three  PoHsh  boatmen 
came  to  the  town  hall  to  offer  Kosciuszko  twenty 
of  their  primitive  flat-bottomed  barges.  Hearing  of 
their  arrival,  Kosciuszko  pushed  his  way  through 
the  crowds  thronging  the  building,  till  he  reached 
the   ante-room   where   stood   the   peasants   in   their 

'  Cf.    K.     Bartoszewicz,    History    of    Kosciuszko's    Insurrection. 
Vienna,   1909  (Polish), 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         107 

rough  sheepskin  coats  and  mud-stained  top-boots, 
"  Come  near  me,  Wojciech  Sroki,  Tomasz  Brandys, 
and  Jan  Grzywa,"  he  cried,  "  that  I  may  thank  you 
for  your  offering.  I  regret  that  I  cannot  now  satisfy 
the  wish  of  your  hearts  [by  using  the  barges]  ;  but, 
God  helping  and  as  the  war  goes  on,  then  will  our 
country  make  use  of  your  gift."  The  peasants  were 
not  to  be  baulked  of  their  desire  to  give  their  all 
t^  Poland.  The  spokesman  of  the  trio,  followed  by 
his  comrades,  shook  into  his  sheepskin  cap  the  little 
sum  of  money  that  they  had  managed  to  scrape 
together  and,  smiUng,  handed  it  to  Kosciuszko, 
apologizing  in  his  homely  dialect  for  the  poorly 
stuffed  cap.  Kosciuszko  flung  the  cap  to  an  officer 
who  stood  by  his  side,  crying,  "  I  must  have  my 
hands  free  to  press  you,  my  beloved  friends,  to  my 
heart."  Drawn  by  that  personal  fascination  which, 
united  to  the  patriot's  fire,  invariably  captivated 
all  those  who  cameTnto  contact  with  Kosciuszko, 
the  simple  boatmen  fell  on  their  knees  before  him, 
kissing  his  hands  and  feet. 

Kosciuszko  remained  in  Cracow  until  the  jest  of 
April,  overwhelmed  from  six  in  the  morning  till 
far  into  the  night  by  the  affairs  of  the  Rising,  col- 
lecting his  army,  sending  broadcast  secret  letters 
hidden  in  pincushions  or  otherwise  concealed  by 
the  officers  to  whom  they  were  entrusted,  directing 
the  supremely  important  task  of  concentrating  the 
scattered  Polish  regiments  that  were  with  varying 
success  fighting  their  way  towards  him.  He  was 
working  against  time  with  the. Russians  forming  up 
against  his  scanty  numbers.  "  For  the  love  of  our 
country  make  haste,"  is  his  ever-recurrent  cry  in 
his  directions   to   his  subordinates.     On  the   ist   of 


April  he  left  Cracow  at  the  head  of  his  small  army, 
prepared  to  take  the  field  against  the  enemy  who 
was  about  to  attack  Madalinski.  At  his  camp 
outside  Cracow  his  long-cherished  desire  was  ful- 
filled ;  bands  of  peasants,  some  two  thousand  strong, 
marched  in,  armed  "with  their  pikes  and  the 
scythes  that  won  them  the  name,  famous  in  Polish 
annals,  of  the  "  Reapers  of  Death."  Mountaineers, 
too,  came  down  in  their  brilliantly  coloured  garb 
from  the  Polish  Carpathians.  To  all  these  men 
from  the  fields  and  the  hills  Kosciuszko  became  not 
only  an  adored  chief,  but  an  equally  beloved  brother 
in  arms. 

On  the  day  following  the  advent  of  the  peasants, 
on  the  4tliof^  April,  was  fought  the  famous  battle 
of  Raclawice. 

^T^osciuszko  was  no  invincible  hero  of  legend.  His 
military  talent  was  undoubted,  but  not  superlative 
and~not  Infallible  ;  yet  Raclawice  was~tEe"tnumph 
of~a~great  idea,  the  victory,  under  the  strength  of 
the  ideal,  of^  few_against  many.  It  lives  as  one  of 
those  moments  in  a  nation's  history  that  will  only 
die  with  the  nation  that  inspired  it.  The  peasants 
turned  the  tide  of  the  hotly  fought  battle.  "  Peasants, 
take  those  cannon  for  me.  God  and  our  country  !  " 
was  Kosciuszko' s  cry  of  thunder.  Urging  each  other 
on  by  the  homely  names  they  were  wont  to  call  across 
their  native  fields,  the  peasants  swept  like  a  hurricane 
upon  the  Russian  battery,  carrying  all  before  them 
with  their  deadly  scythes,  while  Kosciuszko  rode 
headlong  at  their  side.  They  captured  eleven  cannon, 
and  cut  the  Russian  ranks  to  pieces.  Even  in  our 
own  days  the  plough  has  turned  up  the  bones  of 
those  who  fell  in  the  fight,  and  graves  yet  mark  the 


battle  lines.  In  the  camp  that  night  Kosciuszko, 
with  bared  head,  thanked  the  army  in  the  name  of 
Poland  for  its  valour,  ending  his  address  with  the 
cry,  "  Vivat  the  nation  !_  Vivat  Liberty!"  taken 
up  by  the  soldiers  with  the  acclamation.  "  Vivat 
Kosciuszko  !  "  Kosciuszko  then  publicly  conferred 
upon  the  peasant  Bartos,  who  had  been  the  first 
to  reach  the  Russian  battery — he  perished  at  Szcze- 
kociny — promotion  and  nobility  with  the  name  of 
Glowacki.  Before  all  the  army  he  flung  off  his 
uniform  and  donned,  as  a  sign  of  honour  to  his 
peasant  soldiers,  their  dress,  the  sukman,  which  he 
henceforth  always  wore — the  long  loose  coat  held 
with  a  broad  girdle  and  reaching  below  the  knee. 

"  The  sacred  watchword  of  nation  and  of  free- 
dom," wrote  Kosciuszko  in  his  report  of  the  battle 
to  the  Pohsh  nation,  "  moved  the  soul  and  valour 
of  the  soldier  fighting  for  the  fate  of  his  country 
and  for  her  freedom."  He  commends  the  heroism  of 
the  young  volunteers  in  their  baptism  of  fire.  He 
singles  out  his  generals,  MadaHnski  and  Zajonczek, 
for  praise.  Characteristically  he  breathes  no  hint 
of  his  own  achievements. 

"  Nation  !  "  he  concludes.  "  Feel  at  last  thy 
strength  ;  put  it  wholly  forth.  Set  thy  will  on  being 
free  and  independent.  By  unity  and  courage  thou 
shalt  reach  this  honoured  end.  Prepare  thy  soul 
for  victories  and  defeats.  In  both  of  them  the  spirit 
of  true  patriotism  should  maintain  its  strength  and 
energy.  All  that  remains  to  me  is  to  praise  thy 
Rising  and  to  serve  thee,  so  long  as  Heaven  permits 
me  to  live."  ^ 

^        '  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Koiciuszko's  Insurrection, 


The  Polish  army  was  badly  broken  at  Raclawice, 
and  Kosciuszko's  immediate  affair  was  its  reorgan- 
ization ;  but  the  moral  effect  of  the  victory 
was  enormous.  Polish  nobles  opened  their  private 
armouries  and  brought  out  the  family  weapons. 
Labourers  armed  themselves  with  spades  and  shovels. 
Women  fought  with  pikes.  The  name  of  Kos- 
ciuszko  was  alone  enough  by  now  to  gather  men  to 
his  side.  "  Kosciuszko  !  Freedom  !  Our  country  !  " 
became  the  morning  and  the  evening  greeting 
between  private  persons. 

After  the  battle  of  Raclawice,  Kosciuszko  at  once 
issued  further  calls  to  arms,  especially  urging  the 
enrolment  of  the  peasants.  This  measure  was  to 
be  effected,  so  Kosciuszko  insisted,  with  the  greatest 
consideration  for  the  feelings  of  the  peasants,  all 
violence  being  scrupulously  avoided,  while  the  land- 
owners were  requested  to  care  for  the  families  of 
the  breadwinners  during  their  absence  at  the  war. 
The  general  levy  of  the  nation  was  proclaimed.  In 
every  town  and  village  at  the  sound  of  ^the^  alarm 
bell  the  inhabitants  were  to  rally  to  the  public 
meeting-place  with  scythes,  pikes  or  axes,  and  place 
themselves  at  the  disposition  of  the  appointed  leaders. 
Thus  did  Kosciuszko  endeavour  to  realize  his 
favqurit£_.pLOJect  of  an  army  of  the  jjeople. 

Unable  for  lack  of  soldiers  to  follow  up  his  victory, 
Kosciuszko  remained  in  camp,  training  his  soldiers, 
sending  summonses  to  the  various  provinces  to  rise, 
and  seeing  to  the  internal  affairs  of  government. 
The  oaks  still  stand  under  which  the  PoHsh  leader 
sat  in  sight  of  the  towers  of  Cracow,  as  he  cast  his 
plans  for  the  salvation  of  Poland.  The  spot  is 
marked  by  a  grave  where  lie  the  remains  of  soldiers 


who  died  at  Raclawice  ;    and  on  one  of  the  trees  a 
PoHsh  officer  cut  a  cross,  still  visible  in  recent  years. 

Kosciuszko's   character   held  in   marked   measure 
that  most  engaging  quality  of  his  nation,  what  we  ^     jji^^ 
may  term  the  PoHsh  sweetness^  but  it  never  degen-    {'^  jj^ 
erated   into    softness.     His    severity    to    those    who       '^'^ 
held  back  when   their  country  required  them  was 

"  I  cannot  think  of  the  inactivity  of  the  citizens 
of  Sandomierz  without  emotions  of  deep  pain,"  he 
v/rites  to  that  province,  which  showed  no  great 
readiness  to  join  the  Rising.  "  So  the  love  of  your 
country  has  to  content  itself  with  enthusiasm  with- 
out deed,  with  fruitless  desires,  with  the  sufferings  of 
a  weakness  which  cannot  take  a  bold  step  !  Believe 
me,  the  first  one  among  you  who  proclaims  the 
watchword  of  the  deliverance  of  our  country,  and 
courageously  gives  the  example  of  himself,  will 
experience  how  easy  it  is  to  awaken  in  men  courage 
and  determination  when  an  aim  deserving  of  respect 
and  instigations  to  virtue  only  are  placed  before 
them.  Compatriots  !  This  is  not  now  the  time  to 
guard  formalities  and  to  approach  the  work  of  the 
national  Rising  with  a  lagging  step.  To  arms,  Poles, 
to  arms  !  God  has  already  blessed  the  Polish 
weapons,  and  His  powerful  Providence  has  mani- 
fested in  what  manner  this  country  must  be  freed 
from  the  enemy,  how  to  be  free  and  independent 
depends  only  on  our  will.  Unite,  then,  all  your 
efforts  to  a  universal  arming.  Who  isnot  with  us 
is  against  us.  I  have  believed  that  no  PoTe~witr  -^ 
beTn  that  case.  If  that  hope  deceives  me,  and  there 
are  found  men  who  would  basely  deny  their  country, 
the  country  will^jdisown  them  and  will  give  jthem 


over  to  the  national  vengeance,  to  their  own  shame 
and  severe  responBibTtrt5C"^ 

This  language  ran  like  a  fiery  arrow  through  the 
province  :  it  rose.  On  all  sides  the  country  rose. 
Kosciuszko's  envoy  carried  tO"on^~Tjf^the  FoUsli 
officers  in  Warsaw  the  terse  message:  "  You  have 
a  heart  and  virtue.  Stand  at  the  head  of  the  work. 
The  country  will  perish  by  delay.  Begin,  and  you 
will  not  repent  it.  T.  Kosciuszko."  *  By  the  time 
this  letter  reached  its  destination  Warsaw  had 
already  risen.  "^ 

For  weeks  the  preparation  for  the  Rising  in  War- 
saw had  been  stealthily  carried  forward.  Igelstrom 
had  conceived  the  plan  of  surrounding  the  churches 
by  Russian  soldiers  on  Holy  Saturday,  disarming 
what  was  left  of  the  Polish  army  in  the  town,  and 
taking  over  the  arsenal.  The  secret  was  let  out 
too  soon  by  a  drunken  Russian  officer,  and  the  Polish 
•patriots,  headed  by  the  shoemaker  Kihnski,  gave 
the  signal.  Two  thousand,  three, hundred  and  forty 
Poles  flew  to  arms  against  nine  thousand  Russian 
soldiers.  Then  ensued  the  terrible  street  fighting, 
in  which  Kilinski  was  seen  at  every  spot  where  the 
fire  was  hottest.  Each  span  of  earth,  in  the  graphic 
phrase  of  a  Polish  historian,  became  a  battlefield. 3 
Through  Maundy  Thursday  and  Good  Friday  the 
city  was  lit  up  by  conflagrations,  while  its  pave- 
ments streamed  with  blood.  When  the  morning  of 
Holy  Saturday  broke  the  Russians  were  out  of  the 
capital  of  Poland,  and  all  the  Easter  bells  in  Warsaw 
were  crashing  forth  peals  of  joy.    Stanislas  Augustus, 

»  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Kosciuszko's  Insurrection. 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 

3  A.  Choloniewski,  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko.     Lwow,  1902  (Polish). 


who  a  few  weeks  earlier  Md__atJg£lstrom^s  bidding 
puBEcTy^roclaimed  Kosciuszko  to  be  a  rebel  and  an 
outlaw,  liow^  went  over  to  the  winning  _side .  On 
Easter  Sunda}'  the  cathedral  rang  to  the  strains  of 
the  Te  Deum,  at  which  the  King  assisted,  and  on 
the  same  day  the  citizens  of  Warsaw  signed  the  Act 
of  the  Rising  and  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  Kos- 
ciuszko, The  news  was  brought  into  Kosciuszko's 
camp  in  hot  haste  by  an  officer  from  Warsaw.  It 
was  in  the  evening.  Drums  beat,  the  camp  re- 
echoed with  song,  and  on  the  following  morning  a 
solemn  Mass  of  thanksgiving  was  celebrated.  No 
salvos  were  fired,  in  order  to  spare  the  powder. 
"  Henceforth,"  joyfully  cried  Kosciuszko  in  a  mani- 
festo to  his  country,  "  the  gratitude  of  the  nation 
will  join  their  names  " — those  of  Mokronowski  and 
Zakrzewski,  the  President  of  Warsaw,  who  had  been 
mainly  responsible  for  the  city's  deliverance — "with 
the  love  of  country  itself.  Nation  !  These  are  the 
glorious  deeds  of  thy  Rising  ;  but,"  adds  Kosciuszko, 
whose  foresight  and  sober  judgment  were  never 
carried  away  by  success,  '^remember  this  rfruth^ 
that  thou  hast  done  nothing  so  long  as  there  is  left 
anything  still  to  be  done."  ^ 

^'Three  days^  after  Warsaw  was  freed,  Wilno,  with 
,  a  handful  of  soldiers  rising  in  the  nightr  drove  out 
the  Russian  garrison,  and  the  Russian  army  retreated 
through  Lithuania,  marking  their  way  by  atrocities 
which  were  but  a  foretaste  of  what  awaited  in  no 
distant  future  that  most  unhappy  land. 

"  The  powerful  God,"  says  the  pronunciamento 
of  the  Provisional  Deputy  Council  of  Wilno — 
"  delivering  the  Polish  nation  from  the  cruel  yoke 

'  Kokciuszko.     Periodical  Publication,  1893-6.     Cracow  (Polish). 



of  slavery  has,  O  citizens  of  Lithuania,  sent  Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko,  our  fellow-countryman,  to  the  holy  soil 
to  fulfil  His  will.  By  reason  of  the  valour  of  that 
man  whose  very  dust  your  posterity  will  honour 
and  revere,  the  liberties  of  the  Poles  have  been 
born  again.  At  the  name  alone  of  that  knightly 
man  the  Polish  land  has  taken  another  form,  another 
spirit  has  begun  to  govern  the  heart  of  the  dweller 
in  an  oppressed  country.  ,  .  ,  To  him  we  owe  our 
country  !  To  him  we  owe  the  uplifting  of  ourselves, 
to  his  virtue,  to  his  zeal  and  to  his  courage."  ^ 

The  burden  that  rested  on  the  shoulders  of  Kos- 
ciuszko'was~bne  that  would  have  seemed  beyond  the 
mastery  of  one  man.  He  had  toj;aise_.aiL  army,  find 
money,  ammunition,  horses,_43ro visions.  He  had  to 
initiate  and  organize  the  Risiiigjii^  eyery_.£Ioyince, 
bearing  in  mind  and  appealing  to  the  distinctive 
individualities  of  each,  dealing  in  his  instructions 
not  merely  with  the  transcendentally  difficult  material 
matters  of  the  Rising,  but  with  involved  moral 
questions.  He  was  the  military_chief,  responsible 
for  the  whole  plan_of  action  of  a  war  for  national 
existence.  He  was  the  civil  chief,  chosen  to  rule 
the  nation  when  the  most  skiHuTsteering  of  the  ship 
of  state  was  requisite — when  the  government  of 
the  country,  owing  to  dismemberment,  foreign  in- 
intrigues,  foreign  invasion,  internal  disunion,  was 
in  a  condition  of  chaos.  The  soundest  political 
acumen,  the  most  unerring  tact,  was  exacted  of 
him.  He  must  needs  adopt  whatever  political 
measures  he  deemed  necessary,  no  matter  how  hard 
of  execution  :  many  of  these  were  innovations  that 
he  daringly  carried  out^gaJjist_eyeix!^^iIu3ice  and 

*  K.   Bartoszewicz,   History  of  Kosciuszko' s  Insurrection. 


tradition,  because  it  was  the  innermost  conviction 
of  his  soul  that  they  would  save  his  nation.     No 
ddiiFf  ~  Kosciuszko's    great    talent    for_  organizatii?n 
and   appHcation,    and    the  "robust  ^rength    of   his 
rchafacterrivould,  in  part  at  least,  have  borne  him 
through  his  herculean  task  ;   but  it  was  in  the  power       ^     "7  ' 
^of  the  idea  that  we  must  find  the  key"fo  his  whole        p 
lea^dership  of  the  struggle  for  his  nation  which  in'       > 
the  histoiy  of  that  nation  bears  his  name.     Where  . 
Poland   was   concerned   obstacles   were   not   allowed  | 
to  exist — or  rather,  were  there  merely  to  be  overcome,  j 
Personal   desires,   individual   frictions,   all   must   go  [ 
down  before  the  only  object  that  counted.  j 

"  Only  the  one  necessity,"  he  writes  to  Mokro- 
nowski,  reassuring  the  General  in  brotherly  and  sym- 
pathetic style  as  to  some  unpleasantness  that  the 
latter  was  anticipating — for,  with  all  his  devotion 
to  the  common  end,  Kosciuszko  never  failed  to  take 
to  his  heart  the  private  griefs,  even  the  trifling 
interests,  of  those  around  him — "  the  one  considera- 
tion of  the  country  in  danger  has  caused  me  to 
expect  that,  putting  aside  all  personal  vexations, 
you  will  sacrifice  yourself  entirely  to  the  universal 
good.  .  .  .  Not  I,  but  our  country,  beseeches  and 
conjures  you  to  do  this.  Surely  at  her  voice  all 
delays,  all  considerations,  should  perish."  ^ 

Impressing  upon  a  young  prince  of  the  Sapieha 
family,  at  the  outset  of  the  Rising,  that  he  "  must 
not  lose  even  a  minute  of  time  .  .  .  although," 
Kosciuszko  says,  "  the  forces  be  weak,  a  beginning 
must  be  made,  and  those  forces  will  increase  of 
themselves  in  the  defence  of  the  country.  I  began 
with  one  battalion,  and  in  a  few  days  I  had  col- 

'  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 


lected  an  army.  Let  the  gentry  go  out  on  horse- 
back, and  the  people  with  scythes  and  pikes."  Let 
the  officers  who  had  been  trained  to  a  different 
service  abroad  put  aside  preconceived  ideas,  and 
fight  in  the  methods  demanded  of  a  popular  army.^ 

Or,  far  on  towards  the  end  of  the  Rising,  Ko^- 
ciuszko,  calling  upon  the  citizens  of  Volhynia  to 
rise  for  the  Poland  from  which  they  had  been  torn 
away,  speaks  thus  :  "  You  have  no  army  in  your 
own  land,  but  you  have  men,  and  those  men  will 
soon  become  an  army."  He  tells  them  that  the 
Poles  who  rose  in  Great  Poland  were  not  deterred 
by  the  differences  of  religious  belief  between  them. 
"  These  hinder  not  at  all  the  love  of  country  and 
of  freedom.  Let  each  honour  God  according  to 
his  faith  " — Kosciuszko  himself  was  a  devoutCatholic 
— "  and  there  is  no  faith  that  would  forbid  a  man 
to  be  free."  ^ 

One  of  the  earliest  measures  that  Kosciuszko 
inaugurated  as  the  head  of  the  provisional  govern- 
ment of  his  nation  was  in  relation  to  the  object 
only  less  dear  to  him  than  the  liberation  of  Poland  : 
that  of  the  serfs.  With  time  the  Polish  peasant 
had  sunk  to  the  level  of  those  in  neighbouring 
countries,  although  the  condition  of  the  serf  in 
Poland  was  never  as  deplorable  as,  for  instance, 
that  which  obtained  in  Russia.  France  had  only 
just  effected  the  relief  of  her  lower  classes — and 
this  by  an  orgy  of  revolt  and  ferocity.  Kosciuszko 
now  came  forward  with  his  reforms.  The  forced 
labour  of  the  peasant  who  could  not  bear  arms  was 
redu£ed3Q^§lIth^^_a_hjlfofJjjj^^  obligation^ 

1  Letters  of  Kosciuszko.     April  14,  May  12. 

2  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Kosciuszko's  Insurrection. 

THE   RISING   OF  KOSCIUSZKO         117 

and  for  those  who  could  take  part  in  the  national 
war,  abolished.  The  peasant  was -now  to  enjoy  the 
full  personal  protection  of  the  law,  arid  "the  right 
of  ~tocmnotian  when  he  cKoseT' Possession  of  his 
own  land  was  assured  to  him,  and  heavy  penalties 
were  inflicted  upon  the  landlords  should  they  be 
guilty  of  any  acts  of  oppression.  The  local  authorities 
were  bidden  to  see  that  the  farms  of  those  who 
joined  Kosciuszko's  army  should  be  tended  during 
their  military  service,  and  that  the  soil,  "  the  source 
of  our  riches,"  should  not  fall  into  neglect.  The 
people  were  exhorted,  in  the  spirit,  always  incul- 
cated by  Kosciuszko,  of  mutual  good-feeling  and  a 
common  love  for  Poland,  to  show  their  gratitude 
for  the  new  benefits  bestowed  upon  them  by  loyalty 
to  the  squires^  and  by  diligence  in  "  work,  in  hus- 
bandry, in  the  defence  of  the  country."  The  dictator 
then  ordered  the  clergy  of  both  the  Latin  and  Greek 
rites  to  read  these  decrees  from  the  pulpit  for  the 
course  of  four  Sundays,  and  directed  the  local 
commissions  to  send  emissaries  proclaiming  them 
to  the  peasants  in  every  parish  and  hamlet.  Thus 
Kosciuszko  took  up  the  work  that  the  Constitution 
of  the  3rd  of  May  had  more  vaguely  initiated, 
and  that  had  been  terminated  by  Russian  and 
Prussian  interference.  He  could  not  at  this  juncture 
push  his  reforms  further.  Had  he  brought  in  a 
total  reversal  of  hitherto  existing  conditions  while 
a  national  insurrection  of  which  the  issues  were 
uncertain  was  proceeding,  the  confusion  engendered 
would  have  gone  far  to  defeat  the  very  object  it 
was  his  desire  to  bring  about, 

^  Kosciuszko    promulgated    these    acts    from    camp 
on  May  7,''i794.     About  the  same  time  he  issued  a 


mandate,  requesting  the  churches  and  convents  to 
contribute  all  the  church  silver  that  was  not  posi- 
tively indispensable  in  the  Divine  service  to  the 
national  treasury.  Fresh  coinage  was  stamped,  with 
on  the  one  side  the  device  of  the  old  Polish  Republic, 
on  the  other  that  new  and  sacred  formula  :  "  The 
Liberty,  Integrity  and  Independence  of  the  Republic, 
17947"  The  term  "Republic"  as  applied  to  Poland 
was,  of  course,  no  subversive  title,  such  being  the 
time-honoured  name  by  which  the  Pohsh  state  had 
been  known  through  its  history. 

Tq^  KosciuszkQ__ihe"^wa:r-^wtts  "E"  holy  erne.  Its 
object  was,  together  with  the  restoration  of  national 
independence,  that  of  conferring  happiness  and  free- 
dom on  every^xlass,  religion,^ and  individual  in  the 
country.  Take,  for  example,  Kosciuszko's  manifesto 
to  the  citizens  of  the  district  of  Brze^c,  directing 
that  the  religion  of  the  Ruthenes  of  the  Greek- 
Oriental  rite  should  be  respected  :  words  that  in 
the  light  of  the  subsequent  history  of  a  people  who 
have  be?h,  with  fatal  results,  the  victims  first  of 
Russian,  and  then  of  German,  intrigue,  read  with 
a  startling  significance. 

"  In  this  wise  attach  a  people,  deceived  by  the 
fanaticism  of  Russia,  to  our  country.  They  will  be 
more  devoted  to  their  fellow-countrymen  when  they 
see  that  the  latter  treat  with  them  like  brothers 
.  .  .  and  that  they  open  to  them  the  entrance,  as 
to  common  fellow-citizens,  to  the  highest  ofiices. 
Assure  all  the  Oripntal  Greeks  in  my  name  that 
they  shall_have_  in_..C5mmpn  with  us  every  liberty 
which  freedom  gives  men  to  enjoy,  and  l;hat  their 
episcopaTe'withT'^il^ts^  authority  according  to  the 
laws  of  the  Constitutional  Diet  shall  be  restored  to 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         119 

them.  Let  them  use  all  the  influence  they  may 
have  on  the  people  of  their  religion  to  convince 
them  that  we,  who  are  fighting  for  hberty, 
desire  to  make  all  the  inhabitants  of  our  land 
happy."  ^ 

He  wrote  to  the  clergy  of  the  Ruthenian  Greek 
Orthodox  rite,  laying  emphasis  on  the  persecution 
that  their  faith  had  suffered  from  Russia  and  on 
the  liberty  that  Poland  promised  them.  "  Fear 
not  that  the  difference  of  opinion  and  rite  will  hinder 
our  loving  you  as  brothers  and  fellow-countrymen. 
.  .  .  Let  Poland  recognize  in  your  devotion  her 
faithful  sons.  Thus  you  have  the  road  open 
before  you  to  your  happiness  and  that  of  your 
descendants."  ^ 

Following  all  these  enactments  of  Kosciuszko's 
there  ensued  a  curious  interchange  of  communica- 
tions between  him  and  the  King  of  Poland.  Stanislas 
Augustus,  under  the  apprehension  that  he  was  to 
follow  Louis  XVI  to  the  scaffold,  wrote  to  Kosciuszko, 
placing  the  continuance  of  such  shreds  of  Royal  power 
as  he  possessed  at  the  dictator's  arbitration.  Once 
again  Kosciuszko  was  called  to  measure  swords  with 
his  King  and  sometime  patron.  This  time  it  was 
Kosciuszko  who  was  in  the  commanding  position. 
His  sovereign^  wasjmore  or  less  at  his  mercy.  What 
KiTopinion  of  the  man  was  is  clear  frdnrthe  scathing 
indictment  which  his  sense  of  outrage  at  the  betrayal 
of  his  country  tore  from  his  lips  as  he  wrote  the 
history  of  the  Ukraine  campaign  that  Stanislas 
Augustus  had  brought  to  ruin.  Yet  this  was  how 
he  answered,  at  the  moment  when  his  power  was 
supreme,  in  a  letter  dated  May  20,  1794  : 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko.  *  Op.  cit. 


"  My  Lord  King, 

"  Just  when  I  was  engrossed  in  the  midst  of 
so  many  other  labours  with  the  drawing  up  of  the 
organization  of  the  Supreme  Council,  I  received  a 
communication  from  Your  Royal  Majesty  under 
the  date  of  the  5th  instant.  Having  read  therein 
that  Your  Royal  Majesty  only  desires  authority  and 
importance  when  and  inasmuch  as  I  decide  this 
with  the  nation,  as  regards  my  opinion,  I  frankly 
confess  that,  entertaining  a  loyal  respect  for  the 
throne,  I  hold  the  person  of  Your  Royal  Majesty 
excepted  from  the  power  conferred  upon  me  of 
nominating  personages  to  the  Supreme  Council. 
As  to  the  nation,  the  conduct  of  Your  Royal  Majesty 
in  the  course  of  the  present  Rising,  the  restored 
public  confidence  in  Your  Royal  Majesty  that  was 
weakened  by  the  Confederation  of  Targowica,  the 
constancy  with  which  Your  Royal  Majesty  declares 
that,  albeit  at  the  cost  of  great  personal  misfortune, 
you  will  not  forsake  the  country  and  nation,  will  . 
contribute,  I  doubt  not,  to  ^:he  securing  for  Your 
Royal  Majesty  of  the  authority  in  the  Diet  that 
will  be  most  agreeable  to  the  welfare  of  the  country, 
I  have  written  separately  to  the  Supreme  Council 
upon  the  duty  of  imparting  to  Your  Royal  Majesty 
an  account  of  its  chief  actions,  and  this  in  the  con- 
viction that  Your  Royal  Majesty  will  not  only  be 
a  source  of  enlightenment  to  it,  but  of  assistance 
inasmuch  as  circumstances  permit.  Likewise  the 
needs  of  Your  Royal  Majesty  which  you  mentioii  at 
the  end  of  your  letter  I  have  recommended  to  the 
attention  and  care  of  the  Supreme  Council.  Thanking 
Your  Royal  Majesty  for  your  good  wishes  concerning 
my  person,   I   declare  that  the  prosperity  of  Your 



Royal  Majesty  is  not  separated  in  my  heart  and 
mind  from  the  prosperity  of  the  country,  and  I 
assure  Your  Royal  Majesty  of  my  deep  respect."  ^ 

Until  the  month  of  May  Kosciuszko  had  been 
governing  single-handed.  '~He'^had^  drawn  ilp""the 
decrees  that  were  of^such  moment  to  his  country 
in  the  primitive  conditions  of  a  camp  in  a  soldier's 
tent,  with  the  collaboration  of  only  his  council  of 
three  friends,  Kollontaj,  Ignacy  Potocki,  and  Wejssen- 
hof.  Throughout  his  sole  dictatorship  he  had 
combined  a  scrupulous  respect  for  existing  laws 
with  a  firm  declaration  of  those  reforms  which  must 
be  carried  out  without^elay,  if  Poland  were  to  win 
in  her  struggle  for  freedom.  No  trace  of  Jacobinism 
is  to  be  met  with  in  Kosciuszko' s  government. 
Defending  himself  with  a  hint  of  wounded  feeUng 
against  some  reproach  apparently  addressed  to  him 
by  his  old  friend,  Princess  Czartoryska  : 

"  How  far  you  are  as  yet  from  knowing  my  heart !  " 
he  answers.  "  How  you  wrong  my  feehngs  and 
manner  of  thinking,  and  how  Httle  you  credit  me 
with  foresight  and  attachment  to  our  country,  if 
I  could  avail  myself  of  such  impossible  and  such 
injurious  measures  !  My  decrees  and  actions  up  to 
now  might  convince  you.  Men  may  blacken  me 
and  our  Rising,  but  God  sees  that  we  are  _ript  q 
beginning  a  French  revolution.  My  desire^  is  to 
destroYltEe~enemy^  I~aSi  making  sbine  temporary 
dispositions,  and  L.leave  the  framing  of  laws Jojhe 
nation."  ^ 

The  whole  country  was  now  rallying  round  Kos- 
ciuszko.    Polish    magnates,    whose    ancestors    had 

'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko,  »  Op.  cit. 


been  heads  of  armies  in  the  old  chivalrous  days  of 
the  Republic  of  Poland,  who  had  themselves  led 
soldiers  in  the  field,  came  to  him,  begging  to  serve 
in  the  lowest  ranks  if  so  be  they  might  serve  under 
him.  The  King's  nephew,  Prince  Jozef  Poniatowski, 
under  whose  command  two  years  ago  Kosciuszko 
had  fought  as  a  subordinate  officer,  now  placed 
himself  unreservedly  at  Kosciuszko's  disposal.  The 
King,  the  nation,  were  in  Kosciuszko^s  hands.  Yet 
j  he  remained  always  the  simple  Lithuanian  soldier, 
who  wore  the  garb  of  the  peasants,  who  livedlami- 
liarly  with  the  peasants  in  his  army,  treating  them  as 
his  brothers.  His  letters  to  his  officers  are  couched 
in  the  affectionate  and  intimate  terms  of  an  equal 
friendship,  reading  as  though  from  comrade  to 
comrade.  "  Dear  comrade,"  is,  in  fact,  the  title  by 
which  he  addresses  them  when  giving  them  his 
instructions.  Instead  of  orders  and  decorations,  of 
which  he  had  none  at  his  disposal,  he  offered  them 
snuff-boxes,  watches,  rings — "  I  have  sent  you  a 
ring  of  cat's-eyes  that  at  night  it  may  light  you  on 
your  journey,"  he  writes  to  Mokronowski — or  trifles 
made  by  the  hands  of  Polish  ladies,  accompanied 
with  a  few  graceful  words  spoken  from  the  heart 
that  gave  the  gift  its  value.  He  is  ever  eager  to 
bring  to  public  notice  the  name  of  any  Pole  who 
ha^ridbne^~wnr"tjy  Ihe  'CounTfyT  alwayT^silent  on 
his~'^dwn  deeds,  turning  off  the  prarses"and  thanks 
oTTus^eople^to  the  whole  nation  or  to  individuals. 
The  style  of  his  commands  bears  an  invariable  hall- 
mark of  simplicity.  "  I  conjure  and  entreat  you 
for  the  love  of  our  country,"  is  their  usual  wording. 
One  word,  indeed,  rings  with  unwearied  reiteration 
through    Kosciuszko's     pubhc     manifestos,    in    his 


private  correspondence  :  the  love  of  country:  It  p 
is  not  he  who  cries  to  the  sons  of  Poland  to  save 
her ;  it  is^JPoland  herself,  and  lie  voices  her  call,  yy 
of  which  he  considered  himself  but  the  moutEpiece, 
with  a  touch  of  personal  warmth  for  those  to  whom 
he  spoke,  which  they  requited  with  a  passionate 

"  Dear  comrade,"  he  writes  in  the  first  weeks  of 
war  to  one  of  his  deputies,  "  those  who  have  begun 
the  Rising  are  in  this  determination  :  either  to  die 
for  our  country  or  to  deliver  her  from  oppression 
and  slavery.  I  am  certain  that  to  your  soul,  your 
courage,  I  need  say  no  more.  Poland  will  certainly 
touch  your  sensitive  heart,  dear  comrade."  ^ 

The    same    tone    is    conspicuous   in    Kosciuszko's 
many  proclamations  to  the  nation.     In  these,  too, 
he  addresses  the  people  of  whose  destinies  he  was 
the  ruler,  who  were  under  his  obedience,  as  his  "  dear 
comrades,"    his    "  fellow-citizens,"    his    "  brothers." 
He  regarded  himself  in  no  other  light  than  that  of    : 
the  servant  of  his  country,  equally  ready  to  command     ^ 
or  to  resign  his  authority,  according  as  her  interests 
demanded.     Lust   of   power   and   personal   ambition 
were  unknown  to  him.     He  was,  if  we  may  use  the 
expression,  out  for  one  object  :  to  save  his  country  ; 
and  any  interest  of  his  own  was  in  his  scheme  non- 
existent.    "  Let    no    man    who    prizes    virtue,"    he 
wrote,    "  desire   power.     They   have   laid   it   in   my 
hands   at   this   critical   moment.     I   know   not   if   I 
have  merited  this  confidence,  but  I  do  know  that 
for  me  this  power  js  only  a  weapon  for  the  effectual       ^    Q 
defence  of  my  country,  and  I  confess  that  I  long     \    ^- 
for  its  termination  as  sincerely  as  for  the  salvation 

'  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 


of  the  nation."  ^  He  yearned  not  for  the  sword, 
but  for  peace  and  the  "  Httle  garden  "  of  his  dreams, 
as  he  tells  a  friend.  Given  that  temper  of  his  mind 
and  the  inherent  nobility  of  his  nature,  and  we 
have  the  explanation  how  it  is  that  not  one  un- 
worthy deed,  not  a  single  moral  stain,  disfigures 
the  .^even  months^,  that ,  Kosciuszko  stood  at  the 
head  of ~ thePoirsh  state,  beset  though  he  was  by 
internal  and  external  problems  under  which  a  man 
of  less  purity  of  aim  and  single-heartedness  than 
his  might  well  have  swerved. 

But  for  all  his  native  modesty  Kosciuszko  was  too 
conscious  of  his  obUgation  to  his  country  to  brook 
any  infringement  of  the  power  he  held.  Writing  a 
sharp  rebuke  to  "  the  whole  principality  of  Lithuania 
and  especially  to  the  Provisional  Council  of  Wilno," 
which  he  had  reason  to  believe  was  arrogating  to 
itself  his  functions,  he  declares  that  he  would  be 
"  unworthy  of  the  trust  "  that  his  nation  had  con- 
fided to  him  if  he  did  not  "  know  how  to  use  and 
maintain  "  his  authority. 2  A  little  later,  desirous 
to  mitigate  this  sternness  with  the  suavity  more 
congenial  to  him,  he  spoke  to  his  native  district  in 
a  different  key. 

"  The  last  moment  of  Poland,  her  supreme  cause, 
salvation  or  eternal  ruin  and  shame,  personal  free- 
dom and  national  independence,  or  a  terrible  slavery 
and  the  groaning  of  millions  of  men  .  .  .  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  Polish  name,  or  her  glorious  place  in 
the  ranks  of  nations  :  these  are  the  considerations 
that  must  take  hold  of  the  Polish  nation,  of  you, 
citizens  of  Lithuania.  .  .  .  Poles,  now  is  the  moment 

I  T.  KCrzon,  Kosciuszko. 

»  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Kosciuszko's  Insurrection, 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         125 

for  the  amendment  of  eternal  errors.  Now  is  the 
time  to  be  worthy  of  your  ancestors,  to  forget  your- 
selves in  order  to  save  the  country,  to  stifle  in  your- 
selves the  base  voice  of  personal  interest  in  order 
to  serve  the  public.  Now  must  you  draw  forth 
your  last  strength,  your  last  means,  to  give  freedom 
to  your  land.  .  .  .  Let  us  know  how  to  die  !  And 
what  is  earthly  life  ?  A  transitory  and  passing 
shadow,  subject  to  a  thousand  accidents.  What 
Pole  can  live,  if  he  must  Hve  in  the  state  in  which 
till  now,  with  his  compatriots,  he  has  been  com- 
pelled to  Hve  ?  ...  Oh,  fellow-countrymen  !  If  you 
spare  your  lives,  it  is  that  you  should  be  wretched 
slaves  ;  if  you  spare  your  possessions,  it  is  that 
they  should  be  the  spoils  of  the  invaders.  Who 
can  be  so  deprived  of  reason  or  so  fearful,  as  to 
doubt  that  we  shall  surely  conquer,  if  we  all  manfully 
desire  to  conquer  ? 

"  Lithuania !  My  fellow-countrymen  and  com- 
patriots !  I  was  born  on  your  soil,  and  in  the  midst 
of  righteous  zeal  for  my  country  more  especial  affec- 
tion is  called  forth  in  me  for  those  among  whom 
I  began  life.  .  .  .  Look  at  the  rest  of  the  nation  of 
which  you  are  a  part.  Look  at  those  volunteers, 
already  assembling  in  each  province  of  all  the  Crown, 
seeking  out  the  enemy,  leaving  homes  and  famihes 
for  a  beloved  country,  inflamed  with  the  watchword 
of  those  fighting  for  the  nation  :  Death  or  Victory  ! 
Once  again,  I  say,  we  shall  conquer  !  EarUer  or 
later  the  powerful  God  humbles  the  pride  of  the 
invaders,  and  aids  persecuted  nations,  faithful  to 
Him  and  faithful  to  the  virtue  of  patriotism."  ^ 

The   moment   had   now   arrived — in   the   May   of 

I  K.  Bartoszewicz,  Op.  cit.     KoUiuszko.     Periodical  Publication. 


1794 — to  regularize  the  Rising  and  to  establish 
the  temporary  government  on  a  stable  and  more 
conventional  basis.  Kosciuszko  explained  himself 
fully  in  his  proclamation  of  May  21st  to  the  "citizens 
of  Poland  and  Lithuania  "  : 

"  It  has  pleased  you,  citizens,  to  give  me  the 
highest  proof  of  confidence,  for  you  have  not  only 
laid  your  whole  armed  strength  and  the  use  thereof 
in  my  hands,  but  in  addition,  in  the  period  of  the 
Rising,  not  deeming  yourselves  to  be  in  the  con- 
dition to  make  a  well-ordered  choice  of  members 
for  the  Supreme  National  Council,  you  confided  that 
choice  to  me.  The  greater  the  universal  confidence 
in  me  that  I  behold,  the  more  solicitous  I  am  to 
respond  to  it  agreeably  to  your  wishes  and  to  the 
necessities  of  the  nation. 

"  I  kept  to  that  consideration  in  the  nomination 
of  members  of  the  Council.  I  desired  to  make  the 
same  choice  that  you  yourselves  would  have  made. 
So  I  looked  for  citizens  who  were  worthy  of  the 
public  trust  :  I  considered  who  in  private  and 
public  life  had  maintained  the  obligations  of  un- 
stained virtue,  who  were  steadfastly  attached  to 
the  Rights  of  the  Nation  and  the  Rights  of  the 
People,  who  at  the  time  of  the  nation's  misfortunes, 
when  foreign  oppression  and  domestic  crime  drove 
at  their  will  the  fate  of  the  country,  had  most 
suffered  for  their  patriotism  and  their  merits.  It 
was  such  men  whom  for  the  most  part  I  summoned 
to  the  National  Council,  joining  to  them  persons 
honoured  for  their  knowledge  and  virtue,  and  adding 
to  them  deputies  capable  of  assisting  them  in  their 
onerous  obligations." 

He  then  says  that  the  reason  he  did  not  nominate 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         127 

the  ^  Council  earlier  was  because  he  was  awaiting 
the  whole  nation's  confirmation  of  the  Act  of  the 
Rising  that  had  been  proclaimed  in  Cracow,  and 
thus  "  during  the  first  and  violent  necessities  "  of 
the  Rising  he  was  driven  to  issue  manifestos  and 
ordinances  on  his  own  responsibility, 

"  With  joy  I  see  the  time  approaching  when 
nothing  shall  be  able  to  justify  me  for  the  smallest 
infringement  of  the  limits  you  placed  to  my  power. 
I  respect  them  because  they  are  just,  because  they 
emanate  from  your  will,  which  is  the  most  sacred 
law  for  me.  I  hope  that  not  only  now,  but  when — 
God  grant  it  ! — having  dehvered  our  country  from 
her  enemies,  I  cast  my  sword  under  the  feet  of  the 
nation,  no  one  shall  accuse  me  of  their  transgression."  » 

PubHc  moraUty  did  not  satisfy  Kosciuszko  in  his 
choice  of  the  men  who  were  to  rule  the  country. 
He  would  have  none  to  shape  her  laws  and  destinies 
whose  personal  morals  were  lax.  "  What  do  you 
want,  Prince  ?  "  were  the  dry  words  with  which  he 
greeted  Jozef  Poniatowski,  when  the  gay  oificer 
came  into  his  camp  to  offer  his  sword  to  the  Rising  ; 
and  it  is  said  that  this  ungracious  reception,  widely 
different  from  Kosciuszko's  usual  address,  was  due  to 
the  fact  that  he,  whose  own  private  Ufe  was  blame- 
less, was  of  too  Puritan  a  temper  to  be  able  to 
overlook  certain  notorious  aspects  of  Poniatowski's 

Still  in  May  Kosciuszko  sent  Kollontaj  and  Ignacy 
Potocki  to  Warsaw,  and  the  National  Council  assumed 
there_its_legal.  functions.  Among  its  members  sat 
not  only  Kollontaj,  Potocki,  and  those  who  had 
taken  part  in  the  old  Polish  Diet,  former  ministers 

'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


of  state  and  high  officers,  two  representatives  of 
the  clergy  of  the  Latin  and  Greek  rites,  but  the 
banker  Kapostas,  who  had  been  the  originator  of 
the  secret  confederation  that  had  prepared  the 
Rising  in  Warsaw  and  who  had  only  narrowly  escaped 
Russian  imprisonment,  and  the  shoemaker  Kilinski. 
Thus  fo£^the  first  time  inPolish  history  artisans 
and  burghers  were  included  in  the  national  governing 
body.  The  assembly  was  animated  by  that  new 
spirit  of  democracy  in  its  noblest  form  in  which 
Ko^ciuszko  himself  was  steeped.  It  carried  forward 
the  task  that  the  Constitution  of  the  3rd  of  May 
had  begun  and  had  been  forced  by  Poland's  con- 
querors to  abandon.  Its  presidency  passed  by 
rotation  to  each  member,  who  called  each  other 
"  citizen,"  and  who  were  all,  without  distinction  of 
rank  and  class,  treated  as  equals.  They  organized  the 
Ministry  into  the  ordinary  departments,  and'ent^red 
into  relations  with  foreign  powers,  among  which 
England,  Sweden,  and  Austria — the  latter  soon  to 
change  her  face — acknowledged  them  as  the  lawful 
government  of  state. 

Having  thus  lightened  the  burden  of  civil  rule  by 
securing  effective  colleagues,  Kosciuszko,  although 
he  did  not  cease  to  be  the  chief  dictator  of  the 
nation,  could  now  more  freely  devote  himself  to 
the  immediate  object  of  the  Rising. 





We  have  reached  the  month  of  Ma3^_i794. 
Kosciuszko  and  the  Russian  army  under  Denisov 
were  now  at  close  grips,  Denisov  repeatedly  attacking, 
Kosciuszko  beating  him  off.  Communications  with 
Warsaw  and  all  the  country  were  impeded.  Pro- 
visions were  almost  impossible  to  procure.  Ko^- 
ciuszko's  men  went  half  starved.  Burning  villages, 
set  on  fire  by  Denisov's  soldiers,  a  countryside  laid 
waste,  were  the  sight  the  Poles  beheld  each  day, 
while  the  homeless  peasants  crowded  into  Kosciuszko's 
camp  to  tell  him  their  piteous  stories.  Then 
Denisov  retreated  so  swiftly  towards  the  Prussian 
frontier  that  Kosciuszko,  either  through  the  enemy's 
rapidity,  or  because  he  was  detained  by  the  civil 
affairs  of  the  government  with  which  his  hands 
were  just  then  full,  and  by  the  no  less  arduous  task 
of  organizing  the  war  in  the  provinces,  was  not  able 
to  overtake  him.  At  this  moment  the  Rising 
promised  well.  The  Polish  regiments,  escaping  ffCTn 
Russian  garrisons,  augmented  the  number  of  the 
aimy  that,  against  unheard-of  difficulties — short_of 
money,   short  of  all  miUtaiX-reAuJs.ites — Kosciuszko 

^~  9  129 


had  by  the  end  of  May  gathered  together.  From  Kiev, 
under  the  very  eyes  of  the  Russian  troops  in  the 
town.  Kopec — who  for  his  share  in  the  national 
war  later  underwent  exile  in  the  penal  settlements 
of  Kamchatka — led  a  band  of  Polish  soldiers  to 
Kosciuszko's  Rising.  They  had  already  been  in 
communication  with  the  Poles  who  were  preparing 
the  Rising  in  Warsaw,  when  the  news  of  the  outbreak 
of  the  insurrection  reached  them.  Catherine  II  at 
once  resolved  to  disarm  them  and  send  them  to  the 
Crimea.  Kopec  was  despatched  by  the  Russian 
authorities  to  convey  to  the  Polish  soldiers  flattering 
promises  from  the  Empress  of  pay  and  rewards.  He 
seized  the  opportunity  for  a  different  purpose,  took 
the  oath  of  the  Rising  from  his'  compatriots  and 
succeeded  in  leading  them  out  of  Kiev.  Halting  on 
the  way  at  Uszomierz,  he  repaired  in  the  middle 
of  the  night  to  the  Carmelite  convent,  to  beg  the 
blessing  of  the  old  monk,  Marek,  who  had  preached 
with  the  fire  of  a  Bernard  the  Bar  war,  and  around 
whose  white-robed  figure  among  the  patriots  fighting 
for  freedom  tales  of  miracle  had  gathered.  Rising 
from  his  bed  of  sickness,  the  old  man  went  out  with 
Kopec,  crucifix  in  hand,  to  the  Polish  soldiers,  and 
gave  them  his  blessing,  adding  the  words  :  "  Go  in 
the  name  of  God  and  you  shall  pass  through." 
Eluding  the  strong  Russian  forces  that  were  on  all 
sides,  they  effected  their  escape,  and,  singing  the 
ancient  battle  hymn  of  Poland,  marched  to  the 
banners  of  Kosciuszko. 

We    have    seen    that    Kosciuszko    held    the    war 

\      as   a  sacred  crusade.     He  enforced  rigid  discipline. 

LicencfL^was-oinknown    in    his    camp,    where    the 

atmosphere,    so     eyewitnesses    have    recorded,    was 

THE   RISING   OF  KOSCIUSZKQ         131 

that    of    gaiety   and   ardour   tempered   by  a    grave 

"  There  is  here,"  writes  the  envoy  whom 
Ko^ciuszko  was  sending  to  Vienna  and  whom  he  had 
summoned  to  the  camp  to  receive  his  instructions, 
"  neither  braggadocio  nor  excess.  A  deep  silence 
reigns,  great  order,  great  subordination  and  discipline. 
The  entfTusiasnTfor  KoscTuszko's  person  in  the  camp 
and  in  the  nation  is  beyond  credence.  He  is 
a  simple  man,  and  is  one  most  modest  in  conver- 
sation, manners,  dress.  He  unites  with  the  greatest 
reloTifridri  and  enthusiasm  for  the  undertaken 
cause  much  sang-froid  and  judgment.  It  seems 
as  though  in  all  that  he  is  doing  there  is  nothing 
temerarious  except  the  enterprise  itself.  In  practical 
details  he  leaves  nothing  to  chance  :  everything  is 
thought  out  and  combined.  His  may  not  be  a 
transcendental  mind,  oj^  one  sufficiently  elastic  jor 
politics^  His  native  good  sense  is  enough  for  him  to 
e"sTimate  affairs  correctly  and  to  make  the  best  choice 
at  the  first  glance.  Only  love  of  his  country  animates 
him.     No  other  passion  has  doihinion  over  him.''^ 

The  name  of  Kosciuszko  is  linked,  not  with  victory 
but  with  a  defeat  more  noble  than  material  triumph. 
The    watchword    he    had    chosen    for    the     Rising, 
"  Death  or  Victory,"  was  no  empty  rhetoric;  it  was 
stern  reality.     The  spring  of  1794  saw  the  insurrection 
opening   in   its    brilliant    promise.     From    May    the 
success  of  an  enterprise  that  could  have  won  through 
with    foreign    help,    and    not    without    it,    declined 
Kosciuszko  had  now  to  reckon  not  only  with  Russia 
Prussia  was  about  to  send  in  her  regiments  of  iron 
against  the  little  Polish  army,  of  which  more  than 

'  T.   Korzon,  Kosciuszko, 


half  were  raw  peasants  bearing  scythes  and  pikes, 
and  which  was  thus  hemmed  in  by  the  armed  legions 
of  two  of  the  most  powerful  states  in  Europe. 

On  the  6tji  of  June  Kosciuszko  reached  Szczekociny. 
It   was   among  the   marshes   there   that  the~FoIish 
army   met   the   fiercest   shock   of   arms   it   had   yet 
experienced    in    the    course    of    the    Rising.     "  The 
enemy,"  wrote    Kosciuszko    in    his   report,   "  stood 
all  night  under  arms.     We   awaited  the  dawn  with 
the  sweetest   hope  of    victory."     These   hopes  were 
founded  on  the  precedent  of  Raclawice  and  on  the 
battles    in    which    Kosciuszko    had    fought    in    the 
United  States,  where  he  had  seen  British  regulars 
routed  by  the  American  farmers.     But  as  hostilities 
were  about  to  begin  with  the  morning,   Wodzicki, 
examining  the  proceedings  "^through  his  field-glasses, 
expressed    his    amazement    at    the    masses    moving 
against  the  Polish  army.     "  Surely  my  eyes  deceive 
me,    for   I   recognize   the   Prussians,"  he   said   to  a 
Polish  officer  at  his  side.     It  was  too  true.     In  the 
night  the  Prussianaxniy  had  come  up  Frederick 
William  II.     "  We  saw,"  says  KosciuszkoT"^ that  it 
was  not  only  with  the  Russians  we  had  to  deal,  for 
the  right  wing  of  the  enemy  was  composed  of  the 
Prussian  army."     The  Poles  fought  with  desperate 
valour.     Kosciuszko  himself  records  the  name  of  a 
Polish  sergeant   who,  "  when  both  of  his  legs  were 
carried  off  by  a  cannon-ball,  still   cried  out  to  his 
men,  '  Brothers,  defend  your  country  !      Defend  her 
boldly.     You  will  conquer!"^     The  charges  of  the 
Polish  reapers  went  far  to  turn  the  tide  of  victory  ; 
but  the  overwhelming  numbers  of  Prussian  soldiers, 
and  of  scientific  machines  of  war  in  a  ratio  of  three 

•  Kosciuszko.     Periodical  Publication. 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         133 

to  Ko^ciuszko's  one,  carried  the  day  against  the 
Poles.  Kosciuszko's  horse  was  shot  under  him, 
and  himself  slightly  wounded.  Only  two  of  his 
generals  emerged  from  the  battle  unscathed.  The 
rest  were  either  killed,  including  the  gallant  Wodzicki 
and  another  who,  like  him,  had  been  one  of  the 
earhest  promoters  of  the  Rising,  and  the  others 
wounded,  Poninski  redeeming  by  his  blood  a  father's 

There  was  no  choice  -left  open  to  Kosciuszko,  if  he 
'  would  save  an  army  composed  for  the  most  part  of 
inexperienced  volunteers,  but  to  order  a  retreat^ 
This  retreat  was  carried  out  in  perfect  order.  The 
field  was  strewn  with  Polish  dead,  whom,  after  the 
withdrawal  of  the  Prussians,  the  villagers  piously 
buried  in  their  parish  church.  There,  too,  on  the 
battlefield,  lay  so  many  corpses  of  Prussian  soldiers 
that  Frederick  William  expressed  the  hope  that 
he  would  gain  few  more  such  costly  victories.  It  was 
at  the  close  of  this  disastrous  defeat  that  Kosciuszko 
for  a  moment  gave  way  to  despair.  An  officer  of 
his — Sanguszko — met  him  wandering  stupefied  over 
the  battlefield  when  the  day  was  lost.  "  I  wish  to 
be  killed,"  was  all  Sanguszko  heard  him  say. 
Sanguszko  only  saved  his  general's  life  by  gripping 
him  .by  the  arm  and  forcing  him  within  the  turnpike 
of  a  village  hard  by,  where  the  shattered  Polish 
ranks  had  taken  refuge.  This  was,  however,  but 
a  momentary  faltering  of  Kosciuszko's  soul.  On 
the  morrow  of  the  battle  he  was  once  more  sending 
his  country  summonses  to  a  renewed  courage  and 
calling  up  a  fresh  general  levy. 

The   projvisional   government   of   Poland   was   the 
while  negotiatingjvvith  France  and  Austria.     It  was 


hoped  that  France  would  support  the  Rising  finan- 
cially, and  persuade  Turkey  with  French  encourage- 
ment jtodecldre  war  on  Russia.  France,  preoccupied 
with  internal  revoluTidn,  had  no  thought  to  spare 
for  Polish  affairs,  and  her  assistance  was  never 
gained.  Nor  had  the  Poles'  overtures  to  Austria 
any  happy  result.  The  Austrian  Government  gave 
secret  orders  to  arrest  Kosciuszko  and  Madalinski 
if  they  crossed  the  frontier,  and  the  Austrian  regi- 
ments received  instructions  to  attack  any  Polish 
insurgents  who  should  pass  over  into  Galicia,  pro- 
viding that  the  Austrians  were  superior  in  number. 
The  favourable  answer  obtained  ,  through  a  French 
intermediary  from  the  Porte  arrived  after  Kosciuszko 
was  in  a  Russian  prison.  By  the  irony  of  fate  he 
never  heard  it,  and  it  was  only  divulged  thirty 
years  after  his  death.  Thus  every jiiplomatic  means 
failed  the  patriot,  who  was  no  match  for  the  machina- 
tions of  the  European  statecraft  which  has  borne 
its  lamentable  fruits  in  the  recent  cataclysm  we  have 
all  witnessed.  He  was  thrown  on  the  resources 
with  which  he  was  more  familiar  :  those  of  an 
ennobling  idea  and  of  the  exactions  of  self-devotion 
in  its  cause.  Immediately  after  his  eyes  had  been 
opened  at  Szczekociny  to  the  new  peril  that  had 
burst  upon  his  country  he  sent  out  another  order, 
bidding  his  commanders  to  "go  over  the  Prussian 
and  Russian  boundaries  "  into  the  provinces  that 
were  lawfully  Poland's  but  which  had  been  filched 
from  her  at  the  partitions,  "  and  proclaiming  there 
the  freedom  and  the  rising  of  the  Poles,  summon 
the  peasants  oppressed  §i,nd  ground  down  with  slavery 
to  join  us  and  universally  arm  against  the  usurpers 
and  their  oppression  :  "    to  do  the  same  in   Russia 


proper  and  Prussia,  to  all  "  who  are  desirous  of 
returning  to  the  sweet  Hberties  of  their  own  country 
or  desirous  to  obtain  a  free  country."  ^ 

A  peasant  war  could  at  the  moment  be  only  a 
chimera,  impossible  of  realization.  Does  this  mani- 
festo prove  that  Kosciuszko,  in  a  most  perilous 
situation,  abandoned  by  Europe,  was  pushed  to  a 
measure  that  he  himself  knew  was  a  desperate  hope  ? 
Or  was  it  the  generous  prompting  of  a  great  dream 
that  beats  down,  that  refuses  to  be  disconcerted 
by  the  obstacles  that  stand  before  it — that  in  its 
failure  we  call  visionary,  but  in  its  success  the  reform 
for  which  the  world  has  waited  ?  Be  that  as  it 
may,  the  proclamation  was  not  without  its  response. 
The  Supreme  Council  modified  its  wording,  and  sent 
it  into  Great  Poland — the  so-called  "  Prussian  " 
Poland — with  the  result  that  the  Poles  there  took 
up  arms. 

A  lion  striving  in  the  toils  : — such  is  the  simile  by 
which  a  PoUsh  historian  describes  the  position  of 
Kosciuszko.  Not  one  word  or  sign  of  sympathy  for 
his  nation  in  her  gallant  struggle  for  life  reached  him 
from  any  quarter  outside  his  country.  Nor  was  he 
beset  only  by  external  obstacles.  Difficulties  inside 
the  state  added  to  his  cares.  In  answer  to  the 
complaint  of  a  deputation  from  Warsaw,  dissatisfied 
with  the  composition  of  the  Supreme  Council,  he 
wrote  from  his  tent,  begging  the  people  of  the  city, 
his  "  brothers  and  fellow-citizens,"  to  remember  that 
he,  whom  their  delegates  "  saw,"  as  he  expresses  it, 
"  serving  you  and  the  country  in  the  sweat  of  my 
brow,"  had  only  the  happiness  of  the  sons  of  Poland 
at  heart.     May,  says  he,  his  "  vow  made  before  God 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko, 

136  '      KOSCIUSZKO 

and  the  world  calm  all  the  anxieties  of  each  citizen 
and  defend  them  from  irregular  steps  against  the 
estabUshed  Council.  .  .  .  My  answer  is  short  :  let 
us  first  drive  out  the  enemy,  and  then  we  will 
lay  down  the  unchangeable  foundations  of  our 
happiness."  ^ 

Sincerity  was  the  groundwork  of  Kosciuszko's 
dealings  wiHThis  people.  The  greater  the  reverses 
which  tIiercause~of~Poland  encountered,  the  greater 
must  be  the  courage  with  which  to  conquer  them. 
Defeat  must  be  regarded  merely  as  the  incentive  to 
victory.  Thus,  a  few  days  after  the  battle  of 
Szczekociny,  giving  the  nation  a  full  report  of  the 
battle,  in  which  he  mitigated  none  of  his  losses,  he 
ended  with  these  words  : 

"  Nation  !     This  is  the  first  test  of  the  stability  of 

thy  spirit,  the  first  day  of  thy  Rising  in  which  it  is 

free  to  thee  to  be  sad,  but  not  to  be  dismayed.     Those 

guilty    of    thy    defeat    will   amend   it   at   the   first 

opportunity,  and  they  who  have  never  deceived  thee 

as  to  their  courage  thirst  to  avenge  thy  misfortune 

of  a  moment.     Wouldest  thou  be  worthy  of  Hberty 

and   self-government  if  thou   knowest   not   how   to 

endure  the  vicissitudes  of  fate  ?     Nation  !     Thy  soil 

shall   be   free.     Only  let  thy  spirit   be  high   above 

He  then  marched  in  haste  towards  Warsaw,  whose 
safety  was  threatened.  On  the  way  tidings  ®f  a 
great  disaster  were  brought  to  him — that  of  the 
capitulation  of  Cracow  to  the  Prussians  by  its 
Polish  commander,  the  nallonal  Tionour  only  re- 
deemed   by    the    gallant    attempt    of    the    Cracow 

I  T.  Korzon,  Koiciuszko. 

»  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Kosciuszko's  Insurrection. 



burghers  led  by  a  book-keeper  to  defend  the  castle, 
to  whom  the  Prussian  general  gave  the  honours  of 
war  as  they  marched  out.  The  knowledge  that  the 
Prussians  were  in  possession  of  the  ancient  capital 
of  Poland,  the  most  beloved  of  PoHsh  cities,  which 
had  rung  with  the  first  vows  of  the  national  uprising, 
must  have  been  bitter  beyond  expression  to  Kos- 
ciuszko  and  to  all  Poland  ;  but  again  he  would  permit 
neither  himself  nor  his  nation  to  meet  this  blow  with 
anything  but  unshaken  fortitude. 

"  We  have  sustained  a  loss  " — thus  his  manifesto  : 
"  but  I  ask  of  courageous  and  stable  souls,  ought  this 
to  make  us  fear  ?  Can  the  loss  of  one  town  bid  us 
despair  of  the  fate  of  the  whole  commonwealth  ? 
The  first  virtue  of  a  free  man  is  not  to  despair  of  the 
fate  of  his  country."  He  speaks  of  Athens  and  the 
Persians,  Rome  after  Cannae,  France  driving  the 
EngUsh  out  of  their  country,  and  the  heroes  of  his  own 
nation  who  had  repulsed  Sweden,  Turkey,  Russia,  and 
the  Tartars.  "  Other  men  of  courage  and  of  virtue 
have  not  doubted.  Instead  of  breaking  into  profit- 
less lamentations  they  flew  to  arms,  and  delivered 
the  country  from  the  invasions  of  their  enemies.  .  .  . 
I  have  told  you,  citizens,  what  my  duty  bade  me 
tell  you  in  the  conditions  of  to-day  :  beware  of 
indirect  and  alarmist  impressions,  beware  of  those 
who  spread  them.  Trust  in  the  valour  of  our  armies 
and  the  fidelity  of  their  leaders.  .  .  .  Let  not  Europe 
say  :  '  The  Pole  is  swift  to  enthusiasm,  swifter  to 
discouragement.'  Rather  let  the  nations  say  :  '  The 
Poles  are  valiant  in  resolution,  unterrified  in  disaster, 
constant  in  fulfilment.'  "  ^ 

As  if  to  prove  the  truth  of  his  words,  good  news 

I  op.  cit. 


poured  in  from  Lithuania,  Samogitia,  Courland. 
Bands  of  peasants  were  fighting  in  Lithuania.  The 
Rising  was  general  in  Samogitia.  Courland  remem- 
bered that  in  the  past  she  had  been  a  member  of 
the  Polish  Commonwealth,  and  her  citizens  gave  in 
their  act  of  adhesion  to  the  Polish  Rising. 

Taking  advantage  of  Frederick  WilHam's  incapacity 
of  profiting  by  his  victory  at  Szczekociny,  Kos- 
ciuszko  pushed  rapidly  on  to  Warsaw.  By  a  series 
of  skilful  manoeuvres,  in  the  last  days  of  June  he 
arrived  outside  the  city,  and  prepared  to  defend  her  at 
all  costs. 

Events  then  occurred  in  Warsaw  of  a  nature  to 
arouse  his  strong  condemnation.  Hearing  of  the  loss 
of  Cracow  at  the  hand  of  a  traitor,  the  Warsaw 
populace,  with  the  memory  of  Targowica,  many  of 
whose  confederates  were  still  in  their  midst,  staring 
them  in  the  face,  dragged  out  from  the  prisons  certain 
Poles  who  had  either  been  guilty  or  who  were  sus- 
pected of  treason,  and  executed  them  then  and  there. 
Kosciuszko  was  in  camp  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Warsaw.  Any  form  of  terrorism  was  abhorrent 
both  to  his  private  and  national  conscience.  So 
deeply  did  he  take  to  heart  this  outbreak  of  popular 
fury  that  one  of  his  Lithuanian  commanders.  Prince 
Michal  Oginski,  who  visited  him  at  that  time,  heard 
him  declare  that  he  would  have  preferred  the  loss  of 
two  battles  as  being  less  prejudicial  to  the  Polish 
cause.  As  the  head  of  the  national  government,  he 
at  once  addressed  the  following  letter  to  the  €ity  of 
Warsaw  : — 

"  WTiile  all  my  labours  and  efforts  are  strained  to 
the  expulsion  of  the  enemy,  the  news  has  reached 
me   that    an   enemy   more   terrible    than    a   foreign 


army  is  threatening  us  and  tearing  our  vitals  asunder. 
What  happened  in  Warsaw  yesterday  has  filled  my 
heart  Wfth  bitterness  and  sadness.  The  wish  to 
punish  dehnquents  was  well,  but  why  were  they 
punished  without  the  sentence  of  a  tribunal  ?  Why  fi 
have  you  outraged  the  authority  and  sanctity  of  the 
laws  r  Is  that  the  act  of  a  people  which  has  raised 
its  sword  and  conquered  foreign  invaders  in  order 
to  restore  a  well-ordered  liberty  and  the  rule  of 
law,  and  the  tranquil  happiness  that  flow  there- 
from ?  " 

Warning  them  in  impassioned  accents  that  such 
conduct  was  the  surest  means  of  playing  into  the 
hands  of  the  enemy  whose  desire  was  to  promote 
public  confusion  and  thus  impede  the  national  work  : 

"  As  soon  as  the  turn  of  war  permits  me  to  absent 
myself  for  a  moment  from  the  duties  entrusted  to 
me,  I  shall  be  among  you.  Perhaps  the  sight  of  a 
soldier  who  daily  risks  his  hfe  for  you  will  be  agree- 
able to  you  ;  but  I  would  that  no  sadness  imprinted 
on  my  countenance  shall  mar  that  moment.  I 
would  that  our  joy  shall  then  be  full,  both  yours  and 
mine.  I  would  that  the  sight  of  me  shall  remind  you 
that  the  defence  of  freedom  and  of  our  country  should 
only  knit  and  unite  us  together,  that  only  in  unity 
can  we  be  strong,  that  by  justice,  not  by  violence,  ^ 
shall  we  be  safe  at  home  and  respected  in  the  world. 
Citizens  !  I  conjure  you  for  the  sake  of  the  nation 
and  of  yourselves  wipe  out  a  moment  of  madness  by 
unison,  by  courage  against  the  common  enemies  and 
by  a  henceforth  constant  respect  of  the  laws  and  of 
those  who  are  appointed  in  the  name  of  the  law. 
Know  this,  that  he  who  refuses  to  be  submissive  to 
the  law  is  not  worthy  of  freedom." 


He  blames  the  Council  of  State  for  not  having 
brought  the  prisoners  to  trial  before,  and  bids  this 
be  "done  immediately. 

"  And  thus  fulfilling  what  public  justice  exacts, 
I  from  henceforth  most  severely  forbid  the  people, 
for  their  welfare  and  salvation,  all  lawless  riots, 
violence  against  the  prisoners,  laying  hands  on 
individuals,  and  punishing  them  by  death.  Whoso 
does  not  betake  himself  to  the  government  by  the 
proper  way  is  a  rebel,  a  disturber  of  the  public  peace, 
and  as  such  must  be  punished.  You  whose  ardent  | 
courage  is  fain  to  take  action  for  the  country,  employ 
it  against  the  enemies,  come  to  my  camp ;  we  will  | 
receive  you  here  as  brothers."  ^ 

Many  responded  to  this  call,  Kilinski,  the  shoe- 
maker, with  the  cap  of  liberty  planted  rakishly  on 
his  head,  as  we  may  see  him  in  his  portraits,  went  to 
Kosciuszko  with  the  proposal  that  he  should  "  catch  " 
the  lower  classes  of  the  town.  Kosciuszko  gave  his 
hearty  consent,  and  a  regiment  of  these  was  formed 
with  KiHnski  as  their  colonel.  Kosciuszko  was 
always  singularly  happy  in  his  dealings  with  men 
and  with  the  extraordinarily  involved  and  delicate, 
situations  in  which  the  domestic  affairs  of  his  country] 
at  this  difficult  period  of  her  history  placed  him. 
His  tact  and  common  sense  saved  the  situation. 
The  guilty  were  punished.     Order  was  restored. 

The  Russian  and  Prussian  armies  were  advancing 
to  invest  Warsaw.  At  Kosciuszko's  bidding  the 
President  of  the  town,  Zakrzewski,  whom  Kosciuszko 
addresses  as  his  "  beloved  "  Zakrzewski,  had  already 
in  stirring  language  summoned  the  citizens  to  take 
their  share  in  Warsaw's  defence. 

'  K.  Bartoszewicz,  History  of  Kosciuszko's  Insurrection. 



"  Old  men  and  young  men,  mothers  and  children, 
masters  and  servants,  convents  and  confraternities, 
and  all,  in  whatsoever  you  have  of  strength  and 
health,  present  yourselves  on  the  ramparts  of  the 
city  with  spades,  shovels,  barrows,  baskets.  You  who 
are  rich  forget  your  comforts.  You  who  are  high- 
born forget  your  rank.  Stand  with  the  poor  and 
hard-working  citizens  so  that  you  who  have  drawn 
life  from  one  soil  shall  on  one  soil  taste  the  fruits 
of  your  safety,  liberties,  and  possessions."  ^ 

Crowds  toiled  on  the  ramparts,  singing  over  their 
spades  the  song  then  sung  throughout  Poland,  calling 
the  Pole  to  the  labour  without  which  he  would  be 
torn  from  his  brothers,  "  a  prisoner  on  his  own  soil." 
The  sons  of  noble  families  enrolled  themselves  in 
Kilinski's  burgher  regiment,  eager  to  serve  under 
his  command.  On  the  13th  of  Jul}^  the  Russian 
and  Prussian  armies,  the  King  of  Prussia  being 
present  with  the  latter,  were  seen  from  the  walls  of 
Warsaw.  The  alarm  was  given  and  the  cannon 
fired^from  the  castle.  The  citizens  took  up  their 
places  in  the  entrenchments  with  an  order  and  a 
precision  that  won  high  praise  from  Kosciuszko  as 
he  went  his  round  of  inspection.  With  undisturbed 
equanimity  Kosciuszko  prepared  with  his  body  of 
26/)oo_men,  of  whom  16,000  were  regulars,  the  rest 
peasants  armed  with  scythes7~to  defend  Warsaw 
against  41,000  Russians  and  Prussians  and  235 
cannon.  Despite  the  labour  of  the  townsfolk,*  the 
defences  of  the  city  were  weak  and  incomplete  when 
the  enemy  first  appeared  ;  but  during  the  fortnight 
while  the  hostile  armies  lay  encamped  before  Warsaw, 
waiting  for  their  heavy  cannon,  Kosciuszko,  by  dint 

»  A.  Choioniewski,   Tadeusz  Kosciuszko. 


of  his  great  gift  of  organization,  j)ut  the  fortifications 
into  strong  working  order. 

"  His  creative  power,"  said  of  him  one  of  his 
adversaries,  a  Prussian  officer,  who  took  part  in 
the  siege,  "  is  worthy  of  admiration,  since  he  alone, 
in  the  midst  of  creating  an  army,  fought  with  it 
against  the  two  best  armies  of  Europe,  having  neither 
their  stores  nor  their  discipUne.  What  would  he  not 
have  shown  himself  at  the  head  of  a  good  army,  since 
he  did  so  much  with  peasants  who  knew  nothing  ? 
Equally  great  in  character,  in  devotion,  in  love  of 
his  country,  he  lived  exclusively  for  her  freedom  and 

The  story  would  be  long  to  tell,  of  how  the  Poles, 
peasants,  burghers  and  soldiers  ahke,  with  the 
inheritance  of  the  fighting  blood  that  runs  in  the 
,^-^A  veins  of  every  son  of^oland,  with  the  fire  of  pafiriot- 
^  ism  and  of  measureless  devotion  to  the  chief  who 
led  them,  fought  day  after  day  the  besieging  army 
till  it  was  beaten.  The  diary  of  the  siege  is  the 
daily  record  of  deeds  of  gallantry,  of  steadfastness, 
of  a  few  carrying  off  the  honours  against  many. 
Nor  is  there  wanting  a  touch  of  that  wild  and 
romantic  spirit  of  knightly  adventure  which  runs 
all  through  the  history  of  a  country  that  for  centuries 
defended  Christendom  against  Turk  and  Tartar. 
Thus  we  find  a  PoUsh  officer,  Kamienski,  who  had 
already  crowned  himself  with  glory  at  Szczekociny, 
choosing  to  celebrate  his  name-day  by  inviting  his 
friends  to  come  with  him  and  stir  up  the  Russians, 
hitherto  entirely  passive  in  the  operations  of  the 
siege.  This,  so  to  speak,  birthday  party  was  swelled 
by  a  band  of  eager  Polish  youths  and  by  General 

'  A.  Choloniewski,  Tadeusz  Ktisciuszko. 



Madalinski,  who  hastened  to  offer  himself  as  a 
volunteer.  They  attacked  a  Russian  battery,  spiked 
the  cannon  and  cut  the  gunners  to  pieces.  Again 
and  again  Dombrowski,  who  was  later  to  lead  the 
Polish  Napoleonic  legions,  and  whose  name  stands  at 
the  head  of  the  famous  patriotic  song  so  beloved  of 
Poland,  would  at  Kosciuszko's  laconic  order,  "  Harass 
the  enemy,"  sally  forth  on  some  daring  expedition. 
Or  we  hear  of  a  sixteen  hours'  battle,  the  Poles, 
under  a  terrific  fire,  successfully  driving  the  Prussians 
from  height  to  height,  Kosciuszko  himself  com- 
manding KiUnski's  burgher  regiment.  No  shirkers 
were  to  be  found  in  Warsaw.  Under  the  fearful 
Prussian  bombardment  the  citizens  coolly  put  out 
the  fires,  and  the  children  ran  into  the  streets  to 
pick  up  the  spent  balls  and  take  them  to  the  arsenal, 
receiving  a  few  pence  for  each  one  that  they  brought 
in.  Once  as  Kosciuszko  and  Niemcewicz  stood  on 
the  ramparts  with  cannon-balls  pattering  about 
them,  Niemcewicz  heard  a  voice  shouting  into  his 
ear  through  the  din  :  "  You  are  coming  to  supper 
with  me,  aren't  you  ?"i  The  host  who  had  the 
presence  of  mind  to  arrange  a  party  under  these 
circumstances  was  the  President  of  Warsaw. 

Even  those  who  will  not  allow  that  Kosciuszko 
was  a  mihtary  commander  of  the  first  capacity 
acknowledge  that  the  defence  of  Warsaw  was  a 
magnificejit  feat.  He  was~Tts  life  and  "soul7  Organ- 
izingr  encouraging,  seeing  into  the  closest  details, 
the  somewhat  small  but  strongly  built  figure  of  the 
commander,  clad  in  the  peasant  sukman  worn,  after 
his  example,  by  all  his  staff,  including  the  "  citizen 
General  Poniatowski,"  was  to  be  met  with  at  every 
'  J.  Niemcewicz,  Recollections  of  My  Times. 


turn,  his  face  lit  up  by  that  fire  of  enthusiasm 
and  consecration  to  a  great  cause  that  confers  upon 
its  rough  Uneaments  their  strange  nobiUty.  From 
the  13th  of  July  till  the  6th  of  September,  when  the 

enemy  aFaii3one335^IlJ:il^-'^^^*^^2^°  never  once 
took  off  his  clothes,  merely  flinging  himself  on  a  httle 
heap  of  straw  in  his  tent  on  his  return  from  his 
rounds  to  catch  what  sleep  he  could.  His  very 
t)resence  inspired  soldiers  and  civilians  ahke  to 
;  redoubled  ardour.  The  s\yeetness  of  his  smile,  the 
■^  ^. ^gentle  and  kindly  word  of  the  leader  who  yet  knew 
■  i.>  "how  to  be  obeyed  and  who  was  famed  for  his  courage 
"  ^  .^^in  the  field,  left  a  memory  for  fife  with  all  who  saw 
him.  Passionate  admiration,  the  undying  love  of 
men's  hearts,  were  his.  "  Death  or  Yictory  is 
Kosciuszko's  watchword,  therefore  it  is  ours,"  said  a 
Polish  officer  who  served  under  him.  "  Father 
Tadeusz  "  was  the  name  by  which  his  soldiers  called 
him.  Invariably  he  spent  some  part  of  his  day 
among  his  beloved  peasants,  and  daily  he  recited 
with  them  public  prayers.  Often  at  night  he  and 
they  together  went  up  to  the  teeth  of  the  Russian 
batteries  on  expeditions  to  spike  the  cannon.  His 
inseparable  companion,  Niemcewicz,  who  slept  with 
him  in  his  tent  till  the-end  came,  describes  how  the 
silence  of  these  nights  was  broken  hideously  by  the 
wild,  shrill  cry  of  the  reapers,  by  the  sudden  roar  of 
the  cannon  and  crack  of  gunfire,  by  the  groans  of  the 

The  defence  of  Warsaw  was  but  half  of  the  task 
that  fell  to  Kosciuszko.  The  minutest  particulars 
were  dealt  with  by  him  personally.  He  wrote  letter 
after  letter,  commandeering  everything  in  the  country 
for  the  national  cause  :    requisitioning  linen  from  thei 



churches  to  clothe  his  soldiers,  who  in  the  beginning 
of  the  siege  were  half  naked,  sending  out  his  directions 
to  the  leaders  of  the  Rising  in  the  provinces,  issuing 
proclamations,  maintaining  an  enormous  correspon- 
dence on  affairs — it  is  said  that  the  number  of  letters 
from  his  pen  or  signed  by  him  at  this  time  is  almost 
incredible — giving  audiences,  and  conducting  the  civil 
government  of  Poland. 

Early  in  August  the  Prussian  general,  in  a  letter 
to  Orlowski,  Kosciuszko's  old  friend,  whom  he  had 
made  commandant  of  Warsaw,  summoned  the  city 
to  surrender,  while  the  King  of  Prussia  addressed 
himself  in  similar  language  to  Stanislas  Augustus, 
whose  part  in  the  historical  drama  of  the  siege  was 
that  of  an  inert  spectator.  Kosciuszko  drily  replied, 
"  Warsaw  is  not  in  the  necessity  to  be  compelled  to 
surrender."  The  Polish  King  rephed,  not  drily,  to 
the  same  effect.  The  fortunes  of  the  Rising_in  the 
rest  of  the  country  were  fluctuating,^andJiL  Lithuania, 
where  Wilno  fell,  hopeless.  In  the  beginning  of 
September  exultation  ran  through  Warsaw  at  the 
news  that  every  province  of  Great  Poland  had  risen 
against  their  Prussian  conquerors.  Kosciuszko  char- 
acteristically took  up  the  general  joy  as  the  text 
of  a  manifesto  to  the  citizens  of  Warsaw,  warning 
them  that  Prussia  w^ould,  in  the  strength  of  despera- 
tion, redouble  her  efforts  against  them,  and  urging 
them  to  a  dogged  resistance.  On  the  4th  of 
September,  shortly  after  the  Poles  had  by  a  most 
gallant  attack  carried  off  a  signal  triumph,  when 
Warsaw  was  preparing  for  a  fresh  and  violent 
bombardment,  Kosciuszko  wrote  in  haste  to  the 
President  :  "  Beloved  Zakrzewski,  to-day,  before 
daybreak,  we  shall  certainly  be  attacked,  and  there- 



fore  I  beg  and  conjure  you  for  the  love  of  our  country 
that  half  of  the  citizens  shall  go  to-day  into  the 
line,  and  that  if  they  attack  all  shall  go  out.''^ 

The  attack  did  not  take  place ;  and  on  the  6th_of 
September  the  Prussians  retired  from  Warsaw. 
During  the  whole  course  of  the  siege,  with  the 
exception  of  one  post  they  had  taken  in  its  earliest 
stage,  they  had  gained  not  one  inch  against  the 
Poles  defending  their  city  with  smaller  numbers  and 
inferior  ammunition.  The  Russians  retreated  with 
the  Prussians.  They  had  remained  almost  immovable 
during  the  siege.  Neither  of  these  two  collaborators 
in  the  destruction  of  Poland  were  on  the  best  terms 
with  each  other,  and  Catherine  II  had  no  mind  to 
share  with  Prussia  the  distinction,  and  still  less 
the  profits,  of  bringing  Warsaw  to  its  knees.  Austria, 
although  she  was  by  way  of  being  at  war  with 
Kosciuszko,  had  held  aloof  from  the  siege,  unwiUing 
to  commit  herself,  but  determined  on  coming  in  for 
the  spoils  when  the  Rising  should  be  crushed  out. 

Kosciuszko  then  tasted  one  of  the  greatest  triumphs 
of  his  life^tbe.  armies  of  the'^'ehemy  were  no  more 
seen  round  the  city  he  had  saved. 

"  By  your  assiduity,  your  valour,"  the  National 
Council  wrote  to  him,  "  you  have  curbed  the  pride 
and  power  of  that  foe  who,  after  pressing  upon  us  so 
threateningly,  has  been  forced  to  retreat  with  shame 
upon  his  covetous  intentions.  The  Council  knows 
only  too  well  the  magnitude  of  the  labours  which  you 
brought  to  the  defence  of  this  city,  and  therefore 
cannot  but  make  known  to  you  that  most  lively 
gratitude  and  esteem  with  which  all  this  city  is 
penetrated.  "2 

I  T.  Korzon,  Kosciusxko.  *  Op.  cit. 


Further,  it  expressed  the  wish  that  Kosciuszko 
should  show  himself  to  a  grateful  people  in  some 
solemn  function. 

To  this  Kosciuszko  politely  replied,  declining 
to  take  any  share  in  a  public  honour  which  it  was 
against  every  dictate  of  his  nature  to  accept. 

"  I  have  read  with  the  greatest  gratitude  and 
emotion  the  flattering  expressions  of  the  Supreme 
National  Council.  I  rejoice  equally  with  every  good 
citizen  at  the  liberation  of  the  city  from  the  enemy 
armies.  I  ascribe  this  to  nothing  else  but  to  Provi- 
dence, to  the  valour  of  the  Polish  soldiers,  to  the  zeal 
and  courage  of  the  citizens  of  Warsaw,  to  the  dihgence 
of  the  government.  I  place  myself  entirely  at  the 
disposition  of  the  Supreme  National  Council  :  in 
what  manner  and  when  do  you  wish  the  celebration 
to  take  place  ?  My  occupations  will  not  permit  me 
the  pleasure  of  being  with  you.  I  venture  to  trust 
that  the  God  who  has  delivered  the  capital  will 
deliver  our  country  likewise.  Then,  as  a  citizen,  not 
as  a  bearer  of  office,  will  I  offer  my  thanks  to  God 
and  share  with  every  one  the  universal  joy."i 

He  stayed  in  his  camp  and,  in  order  to  avoid  an 
ovation,  did  not  enter  Warsaw.  No  public  triumph 
was  celebrated,  but  Masses  of  thanksgiving  were 
sung  in  every  church  of  the  city. 

Although  he  was  the  ruler  of  the  state,  Kosciuszko 
lived  in  the  utmost  simplicit3^  He  had  refused  the 
palace^That  was  offered  to  him,  .and  took  up  his 
quarters  in  a  tent.  When  receiving  guests  his  modest 
rrie^aT  was  spread  under  a  tree.  Asked  by  Oginski 
why  he  drank  no  Burgundy,  his  reply  was  that 
Oginski,  being  a  great  magnate,  might  permit  himself 

»  op.  cit. 


such  luxuries,  "  but  not  the  commander  who  is  now 
hving  at  the  expense  of  an  oppressed  commonwealth." 
When  taken  unawares  by  a  royal  chamberlain  he 
was  discovered  blowing  up  his  own  fire,  preparing 
some  frugal  dish. 

In  the  first  flush  of  joy  at  the  hberation  of  Warsaw, 
he  wrote  to  Mokronowski : 

"  Warsaw  is  delivered.  There  are  no  longer  either 
Muscovites  or  Prussians  here  :  we  will  go  and  seek 
them  out.  Go,  my  friend,  and  seek  them  out,  and 
dehver  Lithuania  from  the  invaders. "^ 

But  Kosciuszko's  steadiness  of  outlook  was  not  for 
an  instant  relaxed  by  the  signal  success  he  had  won. 
Untiring  vigilance  and  redoubled  activity  were  his 
order  of  the  day,  both  for  himself  and  his  fellow- 
Poles.  The  short  breathing-space  that  followed  the 
retirement  of  the  enemy  was  devoted  by  him  to  the 
pressing  internal  concerns  of  the  nation,  taxation  and 
so  forth.  He  was  determined  on  perfect  freedom 
for  all  classes  and  all  rehgions  in  Poland.  He  ordered 
the  erection  of  new  Orthodox  places_ol^prship  for 
the  members  of  the  Eastern  Church.  He  enrolled  a 
Jewish  legion  to  fight  in  Poland's  army,  and  com- 
rnanded  that  this  regiment  should  be  equipped  and 
treated  on  equal  terms  with  the  PoUsh  soldiers  of 
the  Repubhc.  In  a  transport  of  gratitude  the 
Jewish  leaders  called  upon  their  fellow-believers  to 
rise  for  Poland  in  confidence  of  victory  under  "  our 
protector,  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko,"  who  "  is  without 
doubt  the  emissary  of  the  eternal  and  Most  High 
God."  2 

Kosciuszko  was  a  generous  enemy.     His  Russian 

1  Letters  of  Kosciuszko. 

2  K.  Falkenstein,  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko.     Wroclaw,  1831  (Polish). 

THE   RISING   OF   KOSCIUSZKO         149 

captives  he  treated  with  a  courtesy  and  kindness 
that  were  ill  repaid  during  his  own  march  into  Russia 
as  a  prisoner  in  Russian  hands.  He  directed  that 
services  in  their  own  language  and  faith  should  be 
held  for  the  Prussian  prisoners,  A  letter  of  his 
remains  that  he  wrote  to  the  Lutheran  minister  of 
the  evangelical  church  in  Warsaw,  expressing  his 
gratitude  that  this  clergyman's  pulpit  had  been  a 
centre  of  patriotism,  at  a  time  "  when  nations  who 
love  freedom  must  win  the  right  to  their  existence 
by  streams  of  blood,"  and  telling  the  pastor  that  he 
has  issued  orders  for  the  Prussian  prisoners  to  be 
taken  to  church  in  the  "  conviction  that  you  will 
not  refuse  them  your  fatherly  teaching." ^ 

This  letter  and  the  snuff-box  that  accompanied  it 
were  preserved  as  relics  in  the  pastor's  family. 

The  Bohemian  and  Hungarian  prisoners  were  by 
Kosciuszko's  command  released,  "  in  memory  of  the 
bond  that  united  the  Hungarians  and  Czechs,  when 
free  countries,  with  the  Polish  nation."  We  have 
lived  to  see  the  descendants  of  that  Hungarian 
generation  spreading  untold  atrocities  through 
Polish  towns  and  villages  as  the  tool  of  Prussia  in 
the  recent  war. 

The  triumph  over  the  Prussians  was  but  a  temporary 
respite.  The  Prussian  army  returned  to  the  invest- 
ment of  Warsaw7""at"soffle  distance  from  the  town 
itself.  The  ambassador  of  the  King  of  Prussia  was 
treating  in  Petersburg  with  Catherine  II  for  the 
third  partition  of  Poland.  She  on  her  side  sent 
Suvorov  with  a  new  and  powerful  army^agajost  „the 
Polish  The  Austrians  were  already  in  the  country. 
Kosciuszko,    fighting    for    life    against    Russia    and 

I  Tygodnik  Illustrowany .     Warsaw,  1881   (Polish). 


Prussia,  had  no  army  to  send  against  the  third  of 
his  foes.     His  generals  were  engaging  the  enemy  in 
different    parts    of   Poland,    at   times   with   success, 
as    notably    Dombrowski    in    Great    Poland,    where 
events  continued  to  be  the  one  gleam  of  hope  in  these 
last    days    of   the    Rising,    but    again   with   terrible 
defeats,    such    as    Sierakowski    experienced    by    the 
army    of    Suvorov,    near    Kosciuszko's    old    home. 
Kosciuszko  deceived  himself  with  no  illusions:    but 
neither   fear   nor   despair   found   an   entry   into   his 
soul.     "  He  did  not  lose  heart,"  writes  one  who  never 
left  him.     "  He  turned  and  defended  himself  on  all 
sides." I     Wherever  his  presence  was  most  urgently 
needed,  thither  he  repaired.     Accompanied  only  by 
Niemcewicz  he  rode  at  full  speed  into  Lithuania  to 
rally  the  spirits  of  Mokronowski's  corps,  depressed 
by    defeat.     He    returned    at    the    same    breakneck 
pace,    miraculously,    says    his    companion,    escaping 
capture  by  the  Cossacks  who  were  swarming  over 
the  country.      On  this  occasion,   Princess  Oginska, 
at  whose  house  the  travellers  took  a  hasty  dinner, 
pushing  on  immediately  afterwards,  gave  Kosciuszko 
a  beautiful  turquoise,  set  with  diamonds.     It  was  to 
be  among  the  Russian  spoils  at  Maciejowice. 

The  proclamation  that  Kosciuszko  addressed  to  the 
Lithuanian  soldiers,  found  later  in  his  handwriting 
among  his  letters,  bears  its  own  testimony  to  the 
soul  of  the  leader  who,  in  the  face  of  strong  armies 
marching  upon  his  doomed  nation,  would  give  no 
entrance  to  despair  or  discouragement.  Expressing 
the  joy  he  experienced  at  being  among  the  soldiers 
of  Lithuania,  on  whose  soil  he  was  born  : 

"  My   brothers    and   comrades  !     If   till   now    the 

*  J.  Niemcewicz,  op,  cit. 


results  of  your  toil  and  struggles  have  not  entirely 
corresponded  to  the  courage  and  intrepidity  of  a 
free  nation,  I  ascribe  this,  not  to  the  superior  valour 
of  our  enemies  (for  what  could  there  be  more  valiant 
than  a  Polish  army  ?)  ;  but  I  ascribe  it  to  a  want 
of  confidence  in  our  own  strength  and  courage,  to 
that  false  and  unfortunate  idea  of  the  enemy's 
power  which  some  fatality  has  sown  among  your 
troops.  Soldiers  valiant  and  free  !  Beware  of  those 
erroneous  conceptions  that  wrong  you  ;  thrust  them 
from  your  hearts ;  they  are  unworthy  of  Poles.  .  .  . 
A  few  thousand  of  your  ancestors  were  able  to 
subdue  the  whole  Muscovite  state,  to  carry  into 
bondage  her  Tsars  and  dictate  to  her  rulers,  and 
you,  the  descendants  of  those  same  Poles,  can, 
wrestling  for  freedom  and  country,  fighting  for  your 
homes,  families  and  friends,  doubt  ...  if  you  will 
conquer.  .  .  .  Remember,  I  repeat,  that  on  our 
united  courage  and  steadfastness  the  country  must 
depend  for  her  safety,  j/ou  for  your  freedom  and 

He  threatens  with  the  utmost  rigour  of  martial  law 
any  who  shall  attempt  to  undermine  the  spirit  of 
the  army  by  representing  the  difficulty  of  opposing 
the  enemy,  or  similar  offences.  "^ 

"  It  were  a  disgrace  to  any  man  to  run  away,  but 
for  the  free  man  it  were  a  disgrace  even  to  think  of 

"  I  have  spoken  to  the  cowards  who,  God  grant, 
will  never  be  found  among  you.  Now  do  I  speak 
to  you,  valiant  soldiers,  who  have  fulfilled  the  duties 
of  courageous  soldiers  and  virtuous  citizens,  who 
have  driven  the  enemies  even  to  the  shores  of  the 
sea.  ...  I   speak   to  those  who   have   in  so  many 


different  battles  spread  wide  the  glorj'  of  the  Pohsh 
name.  Accept  through  me  the  most  ardent  gratitude 
of  the  nation."! 

In  the  same  month,  towards  the  end  of  September, 
he  sent  his  country  what  proved  to  be  Ms  last  message, 
still  from  his  tent  outside  Warsaw. 

"  Freedom,  that  gift  beyond  estimate  for  man  on 
earth,  is  given  by  God  only  to  those  nations  which 
by  their  perseverance,  courage,  and  constancy  in  all 
untoward  events,  are  worthy  of  its  possession.  This 
truth  is  taught  us  by  free  nations  which  after  long 
struggle  full  of  labours,  after  protracted  sufferings 
manfully  borne,  now  enjoy  the  happy  fruits  of  their 
courage  and  perseverance. 

"  Poles  !  You  who  love  your  country  and  liberty 
equally  with  the  valorous  nations  of  the  south,  you 
who  have  been  compelled  to  suffer  far  more  than 
others  oppression  and  disdain ;  Poles,  who,  pene- 
trated with  the  love  of  honour  and  of  virtue,  can 
endure  no  longer  the  contempt  and  destruction  of 
the  Polish  name,  who  have  so  courageously  risen 
against  despotism  and  oppression,  I  conjure  you  grow 
not  cold ;  do  not  cease  in  your  ardour  and  in  your 

He  tells  them  he  knows  only  too  well  that  in  a 
war  with  the  invaders  their  possessions  are  exposed 
to  the  danger  of  loss  ;  "  but  in  this  perilous  moment 
for  the  nation  we  must  sacrifice  all  for  her  and, 
desirous  to  taste  of  lasting  happiness,  we  must  not 
shrink  from  measures,  however  bitter,  to  ensure  it 
to  ourselves.  Never  forget  that  these  sufferings  (if 
we  may  call  such  sacrifices  for  our  country  by  that 
name  !)  are  only  passing,  and  that  contrariwise  the 

»  Letters  of  Ko^ciuszko. 

THE   RISING   OF  KOSCIUSZKO         153 

freedom  and  independence  of  our  land  prepare  for 
you  uninterrupted  days  of  happiness. "' 

These  were  the  numbered  days  of  Kosciuszko's 
Rising.  A  Russian  army  of  highly  trained  troops 
under  the  able  command  of  Suvorov  was  marching 
on  Warsaw.  To  prevent  Suvorov's  juncture  with  the 
forces  of  the  Russian  general,  Fersen,  Kosciuszko 
prepared  to  leave  Warsaw  and  give  Fersen  battle. 
Beset  from  every  quarter,  he  had  been  compelled  to 
divide  his  army  in  order  to  grapple  with  the  powerful 
armies  against  him.  Sierakowski  had,  as  we  have 
seen,  been  defeated.  There  was  not  a  moment  to 
be  lost.  On  the  5th  of  October  Kosciuszko  confided 
to  Niemeewicz  that  by  daybreak  on  the  following 
morning  he  intended  to  set  out  to  take  command  of 
Sierakowski's  detachment.  He  spent  the  evening  in 
the  house  of  Zakrzewski,  for  the  last  time  among 
his  dearest  and  most  faithful  collaborators,  Ignacy 
Potocki,  Kollontaj,  and  others.  The  next  morning  by 
dawn  he  was  off  with  Niemeewicz.  They  galloped 
over  the  bridge  at  Praga.  A  month  later  that  bridge 
was  to  run  red  with  the  blood  of  PoHsh  women  and 
children  ;  its  broken  pillars  were  to  ring  with  the 
agonizing  cries  of  helpless  fugitives  as  they  fled  from 
Suvorov's  soldiers  only  to  find  death  in  the  river 
below.  The  Hfe  of  Poland  depending  on  his  speed, 
for  Fersen  at  the  head  of  twenty  thousand  men  was 
nearing  both  Warsaw  and  Suvorov,  Kosciuszko,  with 
his  companion,  rode  at  hot  haste.  They  only  paused 
to  change  horses,  remounting  the  miserable  steeds 
of  the  peasants,  sorry  beasts  with  string  for  bridle 
and  bit,  and  saddles  without  girths  ;  but  none  others 
were  to  be  found  in  a  land  laid  waste  by  the  Cossacks 

I  K.  Falkenstein,  Tadeusz  Koiciuszko. 


and  by  the  marches  of  armed  men.  At  four  in  the 
afternoon  Kosciuszko  rode  into  Sierakowski's  camp, 
where  he  at  once  held  a  council  of  war.  The  army 
under  his  command  moved  on  October  7th,  The  day 
was  fair,  glowing  with  the  lights  of  the  Polish  autumn. 
The  soldiers  were  gay  of  heart,  and  sang  as  they 
marched  through  villages  ruined  by  the  Cossacks — 
to  defeat.  They  halted  at  one  of  these  villages  where 
the  Russians  had  been  before  them.  The  staff  spent 
the  night  in  the  house  of  the  squire.  The  furniture 
had  been  hacked  to  pieces  by  the  Cossacks,  books, 
utensils,  all  destroyed.  That  evening  a  courier  rode 
in  to  convey  to  Kosciuszko  the  intelligence  that 
Dombrowski  had  won  a  victory  over  the  Prussians 
at  Bydgoszcz — rechristened  by  Prussia,  Bromberg — 
and  had  taken  the  town.  It  was  Kosciuszko's  last 
hour  of  joy.  He  published  the  news  through  the 
camp,  amidst  the  soldiers'  acclamations,  bidding  them 
equal  Dombrowski's  prowess  with  their  own.  With 
an  old  friend  of  his  Niemcewicz  walked  in  the  court- 
yard of  the  house  where  the  staff  was  quartered. 
A  flock  of  ravens  wheeled  above  them.  "  Do  you 
remember  your  Titus  Livy  ?  "  asked  Niemcewicz's 
companion.  "  Those  ravens  are  on  our  right.  It  is 
a  bad  sign."  "  It  might  be  so  for  the  Romans," 
replied  the  poet,  "  but  not  for  us.  You  will  see 
that  though  it  seems  difficult  we  shall  smash  the 
Muscovites."  "  I  think  so  too,"  answered  the  other.' 
In  this  spirit  the  Polish  soldiers  advanced  to  the 
fatal  field  of  Maciejowice.  Tents  they  had  none. 
Fires  were  lit,  around  which  they  stood  or  sat,  arms 
in  hand. 

On  the  8th  of  October  rain  poured,  and  the  wearied 

'  J.  Niemcewicz,  Notes  sur  ma  Captivite  d  Saint -Petersbourg. 


soldiers  rested.  On  the  9th  the  army  went  forward. 
Again  over  that  last  march  the  strange  beauty  of 
a  Polish  autumn  shed  a  parting  melancholy  glory. 
The  way  led  through  forests  flaming  with  the  red, 
gold,  and  amber  with  which  the  fall  of  the  year  paints 
the  woods  of  Poland.  At  four  o'clock  the  forest 
was  left  behind,  and  the  army  emerged  near  the 
village  of  Maciejowice.  Kosciuszko,  taking  Niem- 
cewicz  and  a  few  lancers,  pushed  on  to  reconnoitre 
the  position.  A  scene  of  terrible  splendour  met 
the  gaze  of  the  doomed  leader.  The  Vistula 
stretched  before  him,  reddening  in  the  sunset,  and 
as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach  lay  on  its  shores  the 
Russian  army,  their  weapons  flashing  to  the  sinking 
sun.  The  hum  of  multitudes  of  men,  the  neighing 
of  horses,  the  discordant  clamours  of  a  camp,  filled 
the  air.  Advancing,  Kosciuszko  with  his  little  troop 
had  a  skirmish  with  the  Cossacks.  The  general 
and  Niemcewicz  were  twice  surrounded,  and  narrowly 
escaped  with  their  lives.  Then  with  the  evening  the 
Polish  army  came  up,  and  hostilities  ceased. 

The  village  of  Maciejowice  stood  in  a  hollow  outside 
a  wood  among  marshes.  The  night  quarters  of  the 
staff  were  in  the  manor-house  belonging  to  the 
Zamojski  family.  It,  too,  had  been  ravaged  by 
Jiussian  soldiers,  the  family  portraits  in  a  great  hall 
on  the  first  floor  slashed  by  Cossack  sabres,  the 
contents  of  the  library  wantonly  destroyed.  No 
foreboding  seemed  to  have  hung  over  the  Polish 
officers  as  they  sat  at  supper.  They  were  in  high 
spirits,  and  peals  of  laughter  greeted  the  quaint 
jscraps  that  Niemcewicz  read  out  from  a  handful 
of  old  Polish  newspapers  he  had  hit  upon  intact  in 
ja  chest.     Shortly  after  supper  Kosciuszko  lay  down 


for  a  few  hours'   sleep  ;    at  midnight  he  rose  and 
dictated  to  Niemcewicz  his  instructions  for  the  day. 
Before   sunrise   the    Russians   were   moving   to    the 
attack,  and  Ko^ciuszko  was  on  his  horse.     Impelled 
by  necessity,  he  gave  orders  to  fire  a  village  that 
lay    in    the    line    of    the    Russian    advance.     The 
lamentations  of  the  women  and  children  as   they 
fled    into    the    woods    from    the    flames    that    were 
destroying  their  all,  the  wild  cries  of  frightened  birds 
and  beasts,  the  volumes  of  smoke  rising  over  ruined 
homes,   combined   to   make   up    a   scene  of  horror, 
unforgettable  by  those  who  witnessed  it,   and  that 
must    have   wrung   a   heart    such    as    Kosciuszko's. 
Under  a  steady  Polish  fire  the  Russian  soldiers  and 
cannon,   advancing  through  mud  and  marsh,   sank 
at  every  step.     For  three  hours  the  Poles  kept  the 
enemy  at  bay,  standing  steadily  against  his  terrific 
fire  with  artillery  that  was  no  match  for  his.     The 
Polish  staff   were   covered   with   branches   that  the 
Russian  balls  sent  crashing  from  the  trees.      Kos- 
ciuszko  himself  fired  the  cannon  with  an  accuracy 
of    aim    under    which    the    Russians    wavered.     It 
appeared    as    though    they   were    about    to   retreat. 
But  the  enemy's  superiority  of  numbers,  the  strength 
of  his   artillery,   began   to   tell,   and  his  heavy   fire 
sowed    death    among    the    Polish    ranks.     A    shell 
burst  between  Kosciuszko,  his  aide-de-camp,  Fiszer, 
and   Niemcewicz,   but  left   them  unharmed.     What 
Niemcewicz,   who  lived   through   it,    describes   as  a 
hailstorm   of   bullets,   grapeshot   and   shells,   poured 
down  upon  the   Polish  lines.     How  any  came  out 
alive  to  tell  the  tale  was  to  him  a  marvel.     The  dead 
lay  in  heaps.     Not  a  Pole  stirred  from  his  post  under 
this  rain  of  fire.     Each  fell  where  he  stood.     Every 



artillery  horse  was  by  now  killed  or  mutilated. 
Then  at  that  moment — it  was  past  midday — the 
Polish  cannon  were  silent  :  the  ammunition  had 
run  out.  Riding  madly  through  the  Pohsh  ranks, 
Kosciuszko  shouted  to  his  soldiers  to  fight  on,  to 
keep  up  heart,  Poninski  with  fresh  supplies  was 
coming  up.  He  did  not  come,  and  the  rumour  of 
treachery,  never,  however,  proved,  gathered  about  a 
name  that  was  already  of  ill  repute  to  a  Polish  ear. 
Galled  by  standing  motionless  without  ammunition, 
a  Polish  battalion  rashly  charged,  and  the  Russians 
broke  through  the  Polish  line.  Niemcewicz,  rushing 
up  to  repulse  them  at  the  head  of  a  Lithuanian 
squadron,  was  wounded,  captured  by  the  Russians, 
and  his  men  dispersed.  Another  faithful  friend  of 
Kosciuszko,  Kopec,  struggUng  to  cut  a  way  through 
for  his  general,  and  thrice  wounded,  was  in  his  turn 
taken  prisoner.  The  little  Polish  army  was  now 
encircled  on  all  sides  by  the  Russians,  attacking  in 
their  whole  strength.  Then  ensued  a  fearful  bayonet 
charge  in  which  the  Poles  were  mowed  down  like 
corn  before  the  sickles,  each  soldier  falUng  at  his 
post,  yielding  not  to  the  enemy  of  their  country, 
but  only  to  death.  The  battaUon  of  Dzialynski — 
he  who  had  been  among  the  most  ardent  propagators 
of  the  Rising  in  its  beginning — died  to  the  last  man. 
One  who  passed  over  the  battlefield  before  the  close 
of  day  shuddered  at  the  sight  of  those  serried  rows 
of  the  dead,  testifying  by  the  order  in  which  they 
lay  to  the  unbroken  discipline  in  which  they  had 
died.  Of  that  battlefield,  such  is  the  phrase,  "  the 
enemy  only  remained  master  by  treading  over  the 
ranks  of  the  corpses  of  our  soldiers,  still  occupying 
after  death  the  same  place  they  had  occupied  in  the 


158  KO^CIUSZKO       .      /7fV  ' 

battle."^  Without  hope  of  victpi-jf  the  PoUsh  rifle- 
men fired  till  their  last  (^tridg^  was  spent.  With 
the  Russians  on  all  sid6s'*~(5rthem  the  gunners, 
standing  at  the  cannons,  had  worked  till  the  end. 
A  final  desperate  effort  was  made  by  Kosciuszko  to 
form  up  a  front  with  a  small  band  of  his  soldiers. 
His  third  horse  was  killed  beneath  him.  He  mounted 
another,  when  a  wave  of  Russian  cavalry  swept  in 
upon  the  broken  remains  of  the  Polish  army,  and  all 
was  over.  Fighting  in  a  hand-to-hand  struggle  in 
a  marsh,  Kosciuszko  fell,  covered  with  wounds, 
unconscious,  and  was  taken  prisoner  by  three  young 
Russian  ensigns.  Only  two  thousand  of  .the  Poles 
who  had  fought  at  Maciejowice  returned  to  Warsaw 
from  that  tragic  and  heroic  field.  Conducted  to 
the  manor  where  a  few  hours  before  he  had  slept 
by  the  side  of  Kosciuszko,  Niemcewicz  found  there 
Kosciuszko's  devoted  officers,  Sierakowski,  Kniazie- 
wicz,  who  had  commanded  the  left  wing  at  the 
battle.  Kopec  and  Fiszer — all  prisoners  of  war.  The 
last  drop  was  added  to  their  cup  of  bitterness  when 
they  heard  that  nothing  was  known  of  the  fate  of 
their  beloved  leader,  save  the  report  that  he  was 

'  J.  Niemcewicz,  Notes  suy  ma  Captivite  a  Saint •Petersbourg. 



Late  in  the  afternoon  of  that  ill-fated  day  a  stretcher, 
roughly  and  hastily  put  together,  was  carried  by 
Russian  soldiers  into  the  courtyard  of  the  manor. 
The  prisoners  saw  that  on  it  lay  the  scarcely  breathing 
form  of  Kosciuszko.  His  body  and  head  were 
covered  with  blood.  He  was  insensible  and  appar- 
ently at  the  point  of  death.  The  dead  silence  as  he 
was  carried  in  was  only  broken  by  the  sobs  of  his 
Polish  officers.  The  surgeon  dressed  his  wounds, 
and  he  was  then  taken  to  a  large  hall  and  left  to 
the  companionship  of  Niemcewicz,  with  Russian 
grenadiers  posted  inside  each  door.  In  the  evening 
the  hall  was  required  by  Fersen  for  dinner  and  his 
council  of  war,  and  Kosciuszko,  still  unconscious, 
was  transferred,  Niemcewicz  following  him,  to  a 
room  over  the  cellar. 

Towards  the  end  of  the  battle  the  fiercest  contest 
had  raged  around  the  Zamojski  manor.  At  the  last 
a  hundred  Polish  soldiers  had  in  the  desperation  of 
extremity  defended  the  house,  and  fought  it  out 
till  no  round  of  ammunition  remained  to  them.  The 
Russians  then  burst  in,  and  despatched  at  the  point 
of  the  bayonet  every  Pole  in  every  room  of  the 
building,  including  the  cellar,  where  the  only  sur- 



vivors  of  the  heroic  band  took  up  their  final  stand. 
The  bloodshed  stopped  when  each  man  of  them  was 
dead  or  dying,  and  not  before.  The  moans  of  those 
lying  in  their  last  agony  in  this  cellar  of  death  were, 
when  the  laughter  and  merrymaking  of  the  Russian 
officers  died  away  with  the  course  of  the  hours, 
the  only  sound  that  Niemcewicz  heard,  as  by  the 
couch  of  his  passionately  loved  and  apparently 
dying  leader  he  lay  through  the  bitter  cold  of  the 
October  night,  weeping  not  only  for  a  dear  friend, 
but  for  his  country.  At  sunrise  Kosciuszko  spoke, 
as  if  waking  from  a  trance.  Seeing  Niemcewicz,  with 
his  arm  bandaged,  beside  him,  he  asked  why  his 
friend  was  wounded,  and  where  they  were.  "  Alas  ! 
we  are  prisoners  of  Russia,"  said  Niemcewicz.  "  I  am 
with  you,  and  will  never  leave  you,"^  Tears  rose  to 
Kosciuszko's  eyes,  as  he  made  reply  that  such  a 
friend  was  a  consolation  in  misfortune.  The  entrance 
of  Russian  ofiicers,  deputed  to  keep  guard  over 
them,  interrupted  the  conversation.  They  were 
watched  each  moment,  and  their  words  and  actions 
reported.  Later  on  Fersen  came  in  and  addressed 
Kosciuszko  courteously,  speaking  in  German,  which 
Niemcewicz — for  Kosciuszko  knew  neither  German 
nor  Russian — interpreted.  At  midday  a  deafening 
discharge  of  musketry  and  cannon  smote  painfully 
upon  the  prisoners'  ears  :  it  was  the  salvo  of  joy 
for  the  Russian  victory. 

On  the  I3thjgf_0ct^ber  the  Russian  army  marched, 
and  Kosciuszko  and  his  fellow-Poles  began  their 
long,  lad  journey  to  a  Russian  prison.  Kosciuszko 
travelled  in  a  small  carriage  with  a  surgeon, 
Niemcewicz  and  the   Polish  generals  in  a  separate 

'  J.  Niemcewicz,  Noies  sur  ma  Captivite  a  Saint-Pitersbourg. 


conveyance,  while  the  rest  of  the  prisoners  went  on 

foot.     Detachments    of    Russian    cavalry    rode    in 

front    and   behind.     An  immense   train  of  wagons, 

filled  with  the  loot  carried  off  from  Polish  homes, 

Polish  cannon  captured  on  the  field,  a  car  bearing 

the  Polish  flags  with  their  national  device  of  eagles, 

embroidered    heavily    with    silver,    added    the    final 

drop  of  bitterness  to  the  lot  of  the  defeated  sons  of 

,^i    a   proud   and  gallant   race.     On   the   halt   held  the 

■^  following   day   messengers   came   up   from   Warsaw, 

bringing  Kosciuszko  his  personal  effects  and  a  letter 

,       from  the  National  Council,  conveying  expressions  of 

I      the  highest  eulogy  and  deep  sympathy,  with  a  present 

of  four  thousand  ducats,  of  which  Kosciuszko  gave 

half  to  his  fellow-prisoners. 

The  scene  in  Warsaw  when  the  news  of  Ko^ciuszko's 

captivity  reached  it  was,  writes  a  Pole  who  was  then 

in  the  town,  the  saddest  sight  he  ever  saw.^     In  every 

public  place,  in  every  class  of  society,  in  every  home, 

I       the  one  refrain,  broken  by  sobs,  was :  "  Kosciuszko  is 

'       no  more."     The  leader  was  gone  ;    but  the  men  and 

I      women   who  were  met  wandering,  weeping,  in  the 

I      streets,  wringing  their  hands  and  mourning  for  the 

I       man  they  and  the  country  had  lost  together,  had 

i      no  thought  of  giving  up  the  struggle  for  their  nation. 

"  Neither  the   duty   of   a  citizen   nor  thy  example 

permits  us  to  despair  for  our  country,"  wrote  the 

National    Council    to    Kosciuszko.     The    war    was 

carried    on,    and   the   citizens    of    Warsaw   went   in 

their  thousands  to  the  ramparts,  as  in  Kosciuszko's 

time,  to  hold  the  town  against  Suvorov's  siege. 

Together  with  their  dispatches  to  Kosciuszko,  the 
National  Council  sent  a  letter  to  Fersen,  offering  to 

'  M.  Oginski,  Memoir es.     Paris,  1826. 


give  up  all  their  Russian  prisoners  in  exchange  for 
Kosciuszko  alone.  The  Russian  general  refused. 
Two  days  later  Fersen  received  orders  to  join  Suvorov, 
and  the  prisoners  with  a  large  detachment  of  Russian 
troops  under  Krushtzov  were  sent  on  into  Russia 
by  an  immensely  roundabout  route. 

The  first   part  of  the  march  led  through  Polish 
territory.     The  Pohsh  prisoners  watched,  powerless, 
the  ravages  committed  on  their  unhappy  country  by 
the  army  with  which  they  travelled.     The  contents 
of    mansion,    shop,    hut,    were    alike    stolen.     Even 
children's    toys    swelled    the    booty.     Although    the 
wound  on  Kosciuszko's  head  began  to  improve,  he 
had  lost  the  use  of  his  legs  and  could  not  move  without 
being  carried  ;    yet   a  Russian  guard  watched  him 
incessantly.     The  rumour  had  gone  round  the  Polish 
countryside  that  he  had  escaped  from  Maciejowice, 
and   that   the   Russians   had   some   feigned  captive 
in  his    place.     In    their   halts    Krushtzov  therefore 
insisted  on  the  Polish  proprietor  of  the  villages,  or 
the  chief  inhabitants  of  the  towns,  where  the  pro- 
cession  passed  the  night,   presenting  themselves  in 
Kosciuszko's  room  to  see  with  their  own  eyes  that 
he  was  in  truth  the  prisoner  of  Russia.     In  strong 
indignation  at  this  insult  to  Kosciuszko,  Niemcewicz 
writes,  with  excusable  bitterness,  that  hitherto  men 
had  been  known  to  make  a  show  of  wild  beasts  ; 
now  "  wild  beasts  showed  off  the  man."^     At  these 
interviews  no  free  speech  was  possible  between  the 
fellow-Poles,    as    the    guards    were    always    present. 
They  could  only  exchange  the  sympathy  of  sorrowing 
looks  and  equally  sad,  but  guarded,  words. 

So   long   as   the   army   marched   through   Poland, 

I  J.  Niemcewicz,  op.  cit. 


Kosciuszko  had  the  mournful  satisfaction  of  receiving 
here  and  there  on  the  road  some  last  token  of  recog- 
nition and  honour  from  his  compatriots.  At  one 
spot  where  the  Russian  officers  quartered  themselves 
on  the  castle  of  the  Sanguszkos,  while  Kosciuszko  and 
his  companions  were  lodged  in  the  wretched  village 
inn,  the  Princess,  unable  to  show  her  compassion 
in  any  other  way,  provided  the  Poles  with  all 
their  meals,  prepared  by  her  chef.  Another  Polish 
princess,  whose  mansion  was  twenty  miles  distant, 
and  who  was  no  other  than  Ludwika  Lubomirska, 
sent  over  her  3'oung  son  with  clothes  and  books  for 
the  prisoners.  They  were  still  in  this  village  when 
a  courier  arrived,  bearing  the  news  of  the  fall  of 
Warsaw,  and  of  the  massacre  of  Praga  which  has 
gained  for  the  name  of  Suvorov  its  eternal  infamy  in 
the  history  of  Poland.  Thirteen  thousand  of  the  civilian 
inhabitants  of  Warsaw,  men,  women,  and  children, 
were  put  to  the  sword,  immolated  in  the  flames,  or 
drowned  in  the  Vistula  as  they  fled  over  a  broken 
bridge  before  the  fury  of  the  Russian  soldiers.  Thus 
ended  the  Rising  of  Kosciuszko.  If  under  one  aspect 
it 'closed  in  failure,  on  the  other  side  it  had  proved  to 
tlie  admiration  and  belated  sympathy  of  all  Europe 
how  Poles  could  fight  for  freedom.  Moreover,  it  laid 
the' foundation  for  those  later  Polish  insurrections  in 
the  cause  of  liberty  which,  no  less  heroic  than  the 
Rising  of  Kosciuszko,  and  with  a  sequel  as  tragic, 
are  honoured  among  the  world's  splendid  outbursts  of 
nationalism..  ^  "  '' 

Following  close  on  this  blow  came  painful  partings 
between  Kosciuszko  and  his  devoted  comrades, 
Kniaziewicz,  Kopec,  and  the  remaining  Polish  officers. 
Kosciuszko,  with  Niemcewicz  and  Fiszer,  were  separ- 



ated  from  the  main  army,  and  sent  on  under  the 
escort  of  a  small  body  of  Russian  officers  and  soldiers. 
With  hearts  torn  by  grief  they  said  farewell  to  their 
friends,  never  expecting  to  see  them  again.  Haunted 
by  the  thought  of  the  unknown  fate  before  them  and 
by  the  terrible  news  from  their  country,  they  set  out 
through  a  snowstorm  that  blotted  out  all  discernible 
objects,  the  horses  sinking  into  the  snow  which 
clogged  the  carriage  wheels  at  every  turn.  Rigor- 
ously guarded,  each  word  of  their  conversation 
noted  and  handed  on  to  the  commander,  the  prisoners 
were  conveyed  in  as  great  secrecy  as  possible,  and 
were  not  allowed  to  halt  at  any  large  town.  At 
Czernihov  two  Cossack  officers  brought  them  a  tray 
of  fine  apples,  telling  them — they  spoke  in  Polish — 
that  Polish  blood  flowed  in  their  veins  and  that  they 
deeply  deplored  the  lot  of  the  captives.  More  they 
were  about  to  add  when  the  Russian  guard  drove  them 
off.  Traversing  White  Ruthenia,  a  country  that  had 
so  lately  been  Poland's,  the  people  watched  them 
pass,  not  in  curiosity,  but  rather  with  looks  of  interest 
and  compassion.  As  they  changed  horses  before  a 
posting-house  in  Mohylev  a  tall,  thin  old  peasant, 
in  Polish  costume,  was  observed  by  the  prisoners 
among  the  groups  that  pressed  around  them  to  be 
gazing  at  them  with  eyes  filled  with  pity,  till  at  last, 
unable  to  contain  himself  longer,  he  broke  his  way 
through  to  them,  weeping,  only  to  be  thrust  aside 
by  the  Russian  officer  in  charge.  At  Witebsk,  again, 
a  band  of  recruits  in  the  Russian  army  respectfully 
uncovered  their  heads  as  Kosciuszko  passed,  and  he 
knew  that  they  were  Poles.  These  little  incidents 
cast  their  transitory  gleam  over  the  journey  north, 
as  the  party  pushed  on  to  Petersburg,  across  the 


desolate  snow-covered  plains  of  Russia,  through 
the  piercing  cold  of  the  Russian  winter.  At  night 
the '  fires  of  the  aurora  borealis  threw  a  strange, 
blood-red  light  over  the  white,  unending  country.  The 
gloomy  silence  that  held  all  nature  in  its  grip  was  only 
broken  by  an  occasional  crash  of  a  bough  under  the 
weight  of  snow  in  the  great  forests  through  which 
the  party  passed,  or  by  the  wild,  sad  music  of  the 
Russian  songs  with  which  the  postilions  beguiled  the 
night  hours  of  their  journey.  Such  was  the  accom- 
paniment to  Kosciuszko's  forebodings  for  his  future 
and  that  of  his  fellow-captives,  and  to  his  greater 
anguish  over  the  fate  of  his  nation. 

Petersburg  was  reached  on  the  loth  of  December. 
The  prisoners  were  hurried  at  night  through  side 
streets,  and  then  put  into  boats  and  taken  by 
mysterious  waterways  into  the  heart  of  the  Peter- 
Paul  fortress.  Here  they  were  separated,  Niemcewicz 
and  Fiszer  led  to  a  large  hall,'  and  Kosciuszko  con- 
ducted to  another  room.  That  was  the  last  they 
saw  of  each  other  for  two  years.  On  the  morning 
after  his  first  night  of  solitary  confinement  Niem- 
cewicz was  brought  coffee  in  a  cup  that  he  recognized 
as  Kosciuszko's  property.  This  alone  told  him  that 
Kosciuszko  was  not  far  off ;  and  cheered  by  that 
thought  he  was  able,  says  he,  "  to  resign  himself  to 

The  narrative  of  Niemcewicz,  to  which  we  owe  the 
story  of  each  step  of  the  journey  into  Russia,  can  now, 
beyond  a  vague  report  that  the  poet  from  time  to 
time  gleaned  from  his  jailors,  tell  us  next  to  nothing 
more  of  Kosciuszko  in  a  Russian  prison.  Detailed 
information  from  other  sources  is  wanting,  and  we 

'  J.  Niemcewicz,  op.  cit. 


have  only  a  few  certain  facts  to  go  upon.  For  the 
first  few  months  of  his  imprisonment,  Kosciuszko  was 
Kept  in  the  fortress  as  a  rebel,  not  as  a  vanquished 
enemy.  "  Rebel  "  was  the  term  by  which  he  was 
officially  styled.  Before  December  was  out,  he  was 
subjected  to  the  usual  ordeal  of  the  Russian  prison  : 
the  inquisition.  A  paper  was  handed  in  to  him,  with 
a  long  string  of  questions,  which  he  was  ordered  to 
answer  in  his  own  handwriting,  on  the  relations  of 
the  Rising  with  foreign  powers,  the  sources  of  its 
finances,  and  so  on.  It  also  contained  a  close  cate- 
chetical scrutiny  upon  the  conversations  he  had 
held  with  specified  persons  at  such  and  such  a  date, 
and  on  the  ins  and  outs  of  different  incidents  during 
the  insurrection,  that  was  a  severe  tax  on  the  memory 
of  a  wounded  man.  All  that  is  positively  known 
of  the  inquisition  are  the  questions  and  Kosciuszko's 
replies.  What  lay  beneath  it — what  were  the  means 
of  moral  torture  wielded  by  those  who  conducted  the 
inquiry,  the  pitfalls  spread  for  a  prisoner  who  lay 
helpless,  racked  by  pain  from  the  wound  in  his  head  ; 
what  was  the  ingenuity  employed  to  wrest  his  answers 
from  him,  whether  he  willed  or  no,  are  equally  well 
known,  says  Kosciuszko's  historian,  Korzon,  who  had 
himself  more  than  sixty  years  later  languished  in  a 
Russian  dungeon,  to  those  acquainted  with  the 
methods  of  the  Russian  political  prison.  That 
Kosciuszko,  being  at  the  mercy  of  the  enemy  who 
interrogated  him,  spoke  as  openly  as  he  did  regarding 
:the  measures  that  he  was  prepared  to  take  with 
France  and  Turkey  against  Russia,  is  eloquent,  says 
ithe  same  historian,  of  the  force  of  his  character 
land  of  his  conquest  over  physical  infirmity.^     His 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


answers  are  short  and  pithily  clear.  He  speaks  the 
truth,  says  another  Pole,  or  he  does  not  speak  at 

His  high  qualities  began  to  gain  upon  his  conquerors. 
At  the  outset  Catherine  II  in  her  correspondence 
speaks  contemptuously  of  him  as  "  a  fool  in  all  the 
meaning  of  that  word";  but  presently  her  language 
changes  to  a  more  complimentary,  if  still  patronizing, 
tone,  and  after  some  months  slie^had  him  removed 
from  the  fortress  and  conveyed  to  the  Orlov  palace, 
as  a  place  more  suited  to  his  physically  shattered 
condition.  He  was  allowed  to  be  carried  into  the 
garden  and  to  take  drives  in  the  town  under  guard. 
He  was  provided  with  a  good  table,  from  which  he 
daily  sent  meals  to  the  Polish  prisoners  in  the  fortress. 
Always  deft  with  his  fingers,  he  whiled  away  the 
hours  by  working  at  a  turning-lathe.  A  wooden 
sugar-basin  that  he  made  during  his  imprisonment 
Js  now  in  the  Polish  Museum  at  Rapperswil, 

All  this  time  he  lay  sick  and  crippled.  The  wounds 
he  had  carried  from  Maciejowice,  unskilfully  tended 
by  the  Russian  surgeons,  remained  unhealed  :  grief 
of  mind  for  his  country  did  the-  rest.  An  English 
doctor  named  Rogerson  attended  him.  He  wrote  : 
"  The  physical  and  mental  forces  of  that  upright 
man  are  nearly  exhausted,  as  the  result  of  long 
sufferings.  I  am  losing  hopes  of  curing  him.  He 
has  suffered  so  much  in  body  and  soul  that  his 
organism  is  entirely  destroyed."^ 

Two    years    passed    thus.     In    the    November    of 
1796  there  was  an  unusual  stir  in  the  fortress,  which 
to   the  Poles  immured  there  could  mean  only  one 
»  op.  cit.  »  op.  cit. 


thing  :  the  death  of  their  arch-enemy,  Catherine  II. 
After  a  few  days  the  suspicion  was  confirmed.  The 
Empress  was  scarcely  in  her  coffin  before  the  son  she 
had  hated,  now  Paul  I,  entered  Kosciuszko's  prison, 
accompanied  by  his  retinue  and  by  the  Tsarewitch, 
Alexander,  on  whom  for  a  transitory  moment  the 
fondest  hopes  of  Poland  were  to  rest,  and  whose 
friendship  with  a  son  of  the  house  of  Czartoryski  is 
one  of  the  romances  of  history.  The  Tsarewitch 
embraced  Kosciuszko,  and  his  father  uttered  the 
words  :  "I  have  come  to  restore  your  liberty."  The 
shock  was  "so  overwhelming  that  the  prisoner  could 
not  answer.  The  Tsar  seated  himself  by  Kosciuszko's 
side :  and  then  ensued  this  remarkable  colloquy 
between  the  Tsar  of  all  the  Russias  and  the  hero  of 
Polish  freedom,  which  is  known  to  us  more  or  less 
textually  from  a  Russian  member  of  the  court  who 
was  present,  and  also  from  the  accounts  of  the 
Polish  prisoners,  who  eagerly  picked  up  its  details 
which  Niemcewicz  collected  and  recorded. 

"  I  always  pitied  your  fate,"  said  the  Tsar,  who, 
in  the  earlier  days  of  his  reign,  through  the  wild 
eccentricity  that  was  more  correctly  speaking  mad- 
ness, was  not  devoid  of  generous  instincts  ;  "  but 
during  my  mother's  rule  I  could  do  nothing  to  help 
you.  But  I  have  now  taken  it  as  the  first  duty  of 
my  sovereignty  to  confer  freedom  upon  you.  You 
are  therefore  free." 

Kosciuszko  bowed  and,  after  expressing  his  thanks, 
replied  : 

"  Sire,  I  have  never  grieved  for  my  own  fate,  but 
I  shall  never  cease  to  grieve  over  the  fate  of  my 

"  Forget  your  country,"  said  Paul.     "  The  same 


lot  has  befallen  her  as  so  many  other  states  of 
which  only  the  memory  has  remained  in  history; 
and  in  that  history  you  will  always  be  gloriously 

"  Would  rather  that  I  should  be  forgotten,"  was 
Ko^ciuszko's  reply,  "  and  my  country  remain  free. 
Certainly  many  states  have  fallen,  but  there  is  no 
example  like  the  fall  of  Poland.  ...  It  was  in  the 
very  moment  of  her  uprising,  just  when  she  was 
desirous  to  attain  liberty  of  rule,  precisely  when  she 
showed  the  greatest  energy  and  patriotism,  that 
Poland  fell." 

"  But  confess,"  went  on  the  Tsar,  "  that  this 
freedom  of  yours  did  not  agree  with  the  interests  of 
the  neighbouring  states,  and  that  your  countrymen 
themselves  served  as  the  instrument  of  the  destruction 
of  their  country." 

"  Excuse  me,  Your  Imperial  Majesty,  from  further 
explanations  on  that  point,  for  I  can  neither  think  nor 
speak  without  strong  feehng  about  my  country's 

"  You  do  not  offend  me,"  graciously  repHed  Paul ; 
"  but  on  the  contrary  I  esteem  you  the  more,  for  it 
is  the  first  time  that  I  have  spoken  to  a  citizen  whom 
I  recognize  as  really  loving  his  country.  If  at  least 
the  greater  part  of  the  Poles  thought  as  you  do, 
Poland  might  still  exist." 

"  Sire,"  said  Kosciuszko,  with  deep  emotion, 
"  that  greater  part  was  certainly  there.  If  only  Your 
Imperial  Majesty  could  have  been  the  eyewitness  of 
that  virtue,  that  patriotism,  of  which  they  gave  no 
common  proofs  in  the  last  Rising  !  I  know  how  men 
tried  to  give  Your  Imperial  Majesty  the  falsest  and 
worst  ideas  about  our  nation,  because  they  repre- 



sented  them  in  the  eyes  of  the  whole  world  as  a 
horde  of  noisy  ruffians,  intolerant  of  rule  and  law, 
and  therefore  unworthy  of  existence.  Virtuous  and 
universal  zeal  only  for  the  bettering  of  the  country's  lot, 
for  freedom  from  oppression  and  disorder,  was  called 
sedition  ;  the  best  desires  of  good  citizenship  were 
accounted  as  a  crime,  and  as  the  result  of  a  brawling 
Jacobinism  :  finally,  not  onl}^  against  all  justice,  but 
against  the  true  interests  of  Russia,  the  destruction 
of  the  unhappy  country  by  the  complete  dismem- 
berment of  her  territory  was  given  out  as  the  most 
salutary  counsel.  How  many  outrages,  perilous  for 
the  lot  of  every  state,  have  resulted  from  it  !  "  said 
he,  in  words  of  which  we  all  too  clearly  have  seen 
the  truth  to-day.  "  How  many  fearful  consequences, 
what  universal  misery  for  its  victims  !  " 

"  See  what  fire  !  "  said  the  Tsar,  turning  to  his 

"  Pardon  me,  Sire,"  said  Kosciuszko.  "  Perhaps  I 
was  carried  too  far — perhaps ;  "  he  hesitated. 

But  no,  the  Tsar  hastened  to  reassure  him,  he  had 
given  the  monarch  food  for  thought,  he  had  spoken  to 
his  heart.  Kosciuszko  must  ask  for  every  comfort 
he  required  till  he  left  Petersburg,  and  must  trust 
Paul  "  as  a  friend. "» 

This  was  the  first  of  more  than  one  interview 
between  Kosciuszko  and  the  Tsar.  At  the  second 
Kosciuszko  begged  for  the  release  of  all  the  Polish 
prisoners  of  the  Rising  scattered  in  Russia  and 
Siberia.  He  and  his  comrades  were  now  permitted 
to  visit  each  other.  Niemcewicz  has  recorded  his 
painful  impression  as  he  saw  his  friend  for  the  first 
time  since  they  had  entered  the  prison  together, 
'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


lying  with  bandaged  head  and  crippled  limb,  with 
ravaged  nerves,  speaking  faintly  and  making  signs 
to  warn  Niemcewicz  when  the  latter  raised  his  voice 
that  spies  were  listening  at  the  door. 

But  Paul's  pardon  was  not  unconditional.  Before 
granting'a'  general  amnesty  he  required  of  Ko^ciuszko 
and  the  leading  Polish  prisoners  an  oath  of  allegiance 
to  himself  and  his  successors.  Thus  Kosciuszko  was 
called  upon  to  face  the  bitterest  sacrifice  that  even 
he  had  yet  had  to  confront.  On  him  depended 
whether  the  prison  gates  should  be  opened  to  twelve 
thousand  fellow-Poles.  At  the  cost  of  the  most 
sacred  feelings  of  his  heart,  after  private  consultations 
with  Ignacy  Potocki,  who  was  among  the  prisoners 
in  the  fortress,  and  with  whom  he  agreed  that  there 
was  no  alternative  but  to  submit,  Kosciuszko  accepted 
the  intolerable  condition  laid  upon  him,  and  took^ 
the  oath.  Upon  the  agony  of  that  internal  conflict 
he,  with  his  accustomed  reticence,  remained  silent. 
That  there  was  some  external  pressure  of  a  most 
harassing  description  on  the  part  of  the  Russian 
ministers  which  tore  the  oath  from  his  lips  is  proved 
by  his  own  words  in  his  letter  to  the  Tsar  two  years 

His  intention  was  now  to  go  to  America,  by 
Sweden  and  England.  Rogerson,  whose  strong  esteem 
he  had  gained,  wrote  to  his  friend,  the  Russian 
ambassador  in  London,  begging  him  for  the  sake  of 
their  friendship  to  do  all  that  he  could  for  Kosciuszko, 
.  and  entering  into  minute  recommendations  to  ensure 
the  latter' s  well-being  in  England.  Kosciuszko  had 
aroused  a  like  admiration  in  the  imperial  family. 
At  the  farewell  audience  in  the  Winter  Palace  he  was 
received  with  4  pomp  detestable  to  his  every  instinct, 


and  carried  in  Catherine's  wheel  chair  into  the  Tsar's 
private  room.  The  Tsar  loaded  him  with  gifts, 
including  a  carriage  especially  adapted  to  the  recum- 
bent position  in  which  he  was  forced  to  travel.  The 
Tsaritsa  chose  to  give  him  a  costly  turning-lathe  and 
a  set  of  cameos,  while  he  offered  her  a  snuff-box  of 
his  own  making,  which  she  held  in  her  hand  during 
her  coronation,  showing  it  with  pride  to  Rogerson  as  a 
gift  which,  said  she,  "  puts  me  in  mind  of  a  highly 
instructive  moral." ^  These  presents  from  the  Russian 
court  were  intensely  galHng  to  Kosciuszko's  feelings. 
He  refused  as  many  as  he  could.  The  rest  that  he 
accepted  under  compulsion  he  got  rid  of  as  soon  as 
possible.  His  return  present  to  the  Tsaritsa  was  an 
act  of  courtesy,  characteristic  of  Kosciuszko's  chivalry 
to  women  ;  but  he  received  with  a  marked  coldness 
the  advances  of  the  Tsar,  showered  upon  him  in  the 
moment's  caprice,  as  was  the  manner  of  Paul  I.* 
On  the  19th  of  December,  1796,  he  turned  his  back 
upon  Russia  for  ever  and,  accompanied  by  Niem- 
cewicz,  departed  for  Sweden. 

.  I  T.  Korzon,  KoUiuszko.  »  Ibid. 



The  great  and  romantic  chapter  of  Kosciuszko's 
history  is  now  closed.  Twenty  more  years  of  Hfe 
remained  to  him.  Those  years  were  passed  in  exile. 
He  never  again  saw  his  country. 

The  third  partition  of  Poland  was  carried  out  by 
Russia,  Austria,  and  Prussia  in  1795,  while  the  man 
who  had  offered  his  life  and  liberty  to  avert  it  lay 
in  a  Russian  prison.  Not  even  the  span  of  Poland's 
soil  which  Kosciuszko  and  his  soldiers  had  watered 
with  their  blood  was  left  to  her.  To  that  extinction  f 
of  an  independent  state,  lying  between  Russia  and 
the  Central  Powers,  barring  the  progress  of  Prussia 
to  the  Baltic  and  the  East,  the  most  far-seeing 
politicians  ascribe  the  world-war  that  has  been  so 
recently  devastating  the  world. 

It   was   therefore  in   bitter    grief    of    heart    that  :?^ 

Kosciuszko  set  out  for  Swedem    BesTdes  j^iemcewicz,  ^^ 

he  had  with  him  a  young  Polish  officer,  named 
Libiszewski,  who  had  eagerly  offered  himself  to  serve 
Kosciuszko  in  any  capacity  till  he  reached  the  United 
States.  He  carried  Kosciuszko  to  carriage  or  couch, 
and  distracted  his  sadness  by  his  admirable  playing 
on  the  horn  and  by  his  sweet  singing.  He  died 
— still  young — of  fever  in  Cuba. 



In  the  short  northern  day  of  four  hours  the  party 
made  a  long  and  tedious  journey,  impeded  by  the 
bitter  weather,  through  the  pine  forests  of  Finland. 
The  country  was  buried  in  snow,  and  so  rough  was 
the  travelUng  that  the  three  Poles  had  to  pass  a 
night  in  the  common  hall  of  the  inn,  with  pigs  as 
their  sleeping  companions.     Kosciuszko's  fame  had 
spread  all  over  Europe.     SweHeinigW"1ier&elf  proud 
that  he  was  her  guest,  greeting  him  as  "  one  of  the 
greatest   men  of  our  century."     At   Stockholm  the 
notables  of  the  city  crowded  to  pay  their  respects — 
on  foot,  in  order  not  to  disturb  the  invahd  with  the 
sound  of  carriages  and  horses.     He  was  not,  however, 
very  accessible.     By  temperament  he  shrank  from 
either  publicity  or  fame  ;  and  in  his  state  of  physical 
and    mental    suffering   he    had    no    heart    for    the 
honours    showered    upon    him.     He    systematically 
discouraged   the   forerunners   of   the   modern   inter- 
viewers who  were  eager  for  "  copy,"  and  as  far  as 
he   could   he  kept  to  himself,  his  relaxations  being 
his  own  drawing,   and  the  music  of  which  he  was 
always  passionately  fond,  and  with  which  his  Swedish 
admirers  were  careful  to  provide  him.     A  Swedish 
writer,  who  was  staying  in  the  same  hotel,  desired 
to  visit  him,  but  dared  not  do  so,  partly  for  fear  of 
intruding  upon  him,  and  partly  because  he  owned 
that  he  could  not  keep  from  tears  at  the  sight  of  the 
PoHsh  patriot,  so  deeply  had  Kosciuszko's  history 
affected  the  pubHc  of  those  days.     Finally,  he  made 
the     plunge,     and    asked     Kosciuszko's    permission 
for  a  3^oung   Swedish   painter  to   take  his   portrait. 
Kosciuszko    courteously   refused  ;    but    an    engraver 
surreptitiously    took    notes     of    his     features,     and 
reproduced   them   in   a   hkeness   that    travelled    all 

EXILE  175 

over  Sweden,  depicting  him,  as  our  own  Cosway 
did  afterwards,  reclining,  "  his  face,"  says  the 
Swedish  description,  "  expressing  the  sufferings  of 
his  soul  over  his  country's  fate."^ 

From  Stockholm  Kosciuszko  passed  on  to  Goteborg 
to  await  a  ship  for  England.  Here  too  the  inhabi- 
tants vied  with  each  other  to  do  him  honour,  and 
arranged  amateur  concerts  for  him  in  his  rooms. 
On  the  i6th  of  May  the  Poles  embarked.  After 
three  weeks'  passage  in  a  small  merchant  vessel,  they 
landed  at  Gravesend,  and  thence  reached  London. 
"  Kosciuszko,  the  hero  of  freedom,  is  here,"  announced 
the  Gentleman' s  Magazine ;  and  indeed  the  Enghsh 
papers  were  full  of  him.  He  stayed  in  Leicester 
Square.  The  whole  of  London  made  haste  to 
visit  him.  The  leading  politicians,  including  Fox, 
men  of  letters,  among  whom  we  find  Sheridan,  the 
beauties  of  the  day  and  the  rulers  of  fashion,  all 
ahke  thronged  his  rooms.  To  Walter  Savage  Landor, 
then  a  mere  youth,  the  sight  of  Kosciuszko  awoke 
the  sympathy  for  Poland  that  he  never  lost,  to  which 
English  literature  owes  one  of  his  Imaginary  Con- 
versations. More  than  half  a  century  later  he  looked 
back  to  the  moment  in  which  he  spoke  to  Kosciuszko 
as  the  happiest  of  his  hfe.  The  Whig  Club  presented 
Kosciuszko  with  a  sword  of  honour.  The  beautiful 
Duchess  of  Devonshire  pressed  upon  him  a  costly 
ring,  which  went  the  way  of  most  of  the  gifts  that 
Kosciuszko  received  :  he  gave  them  away  to  friends. 
All  such  tokens  of  admiration  had  never  counted 
for  anything  in  Kosciuszko's  life,  and  now  they  were 
the  merest  baubles  to  a  man  who  had  seen  his  country 
fall.    In  the  portrait  that,  against  his  wish  and  without 

'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


his  knowledge,  Cosway  painted,  said  by  Niemcewicz  to 
resemble  him  as  none  other,  we  see  him,  lying  with 
bandaged  head  in  an  attitude  of  deep  and  sorrowful 
musing.  The  face,  the  whole  attitude,  are  those  of 
one  absorbed  by  an  overmastering  grief  that  filled 
his  soul  to  the  exclusion  of  all  else.  The  fine  portrait 
has  found  its  way  to  Kosciuszko's  native  land,  and 
is  now  in  Warsaw.  The  EngUsh  doctor  recommended 
by  Rogerson  attended  Ko^ciuszko  assiduously,  and 
the  Russian  ambassador's  kindness  was  so  unfailing 
that  Kosciuszko,  sending  him  his  farewells  as  he 
left  England,  wrote  :  "If  ever  I  recover  part  of  my 
health  it  will  be  sweet  to  me  to  remember  that  it  is 
to  your  attentions,  to  the  interest  that  you  took  in 
me,  that  I  shall  owe  it."i 

Bristol  was  at  that  time  the  Enghsh  port  of  saiUngs 
for  America.  It  was  there  that  after  a  fortnight's 
stay  in  London  Kosciuszko  betook  himself,  passing  a 
night  in  Bath  on  the  way.  He  found  in  Bristol  old 
friends  of  his  American  days.  He  was  the  guest  of 
one  of  them,  now  the  United  States  consul,  as  long 
as  he  stayed  in  the  town.  A  guard  of  honour  received 
him,  long  processions  of  the  townsfolk  flocked  to 
catch  a  ghmpse  of  him,  a  mihtary  band  played 
every  evening  before  the  consulate,  and  the  city 
gave  him  a  handsome  silver  service.  An  Enghshman 
who  visited  him  in  Bristol  records  the  impression 
that  Kosciuszko  made  on  all  who  saw  him,  of  one 
whose  whole  being  breathed  devotion  to  his  country. 
*  The  same  witness  speaks  of  a  soul  unbroken  by 
misfortune,  by  wounds,  poverty,  and  exile  ;  of  an 
eagle  glance,  of  talk  full  of  wit  and  wisdom. 

The  course  down  the  Avon  to  the  point  where 

'  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 

EXILE  177 

Kosciuszko's  ship  lay  at  anchor  was  a  triumphal 
progress.  He  was  accompanied  by  English  officers 
in  full  dress,  by  the  American  consul  and  a  host 
of  well-wishers.  All  heads  were  bared  as  he  was 
carried  on  board.  The  whole  length  of  the  river 
handkerchiefs  were  waved  from  the  banks.  Fare- 
wells resounded  from  every  rock  and  promontory, 
where  spectators  had  crowded  to  see  the  last  of  the 
Polish  hero.  Boats  shot  out  from  the  private 
dwellings  on  the  waterside,  laden  with  flowers  and 
fruits  for  the  departing  guest.  Not  a  few  men  and 
women  boarded  the  ship  and  accompanied  Kosciuszko 
for  some  distance  before  they  could  bring  themselves 
to  part  with  him. 

For  nearly  two  months  Kosciuszko  and  his  Polish 
companions  tossed  on  the  Atlantic,  running  on  one 
occasion  a  near  chance  of  shipwreck.  Philadelphia 
was  their  destination.  Once  in  America,  Kosciuszko 
trod  soil  familiar  and  dear  to  him.  "  I  look  upon 
America,"  he  said,  replying  in  FreficE^  to  the 
3eputation  of  Philadelphia's  citizens  who  came  on 
board  to  welcome  him,  "  as  my  second  country,  and 
I  feel  myself  too  happy  when  I  return  to  her."  The 
cannon  from  the  fort  and  a  storm  of  cheering  greeted 
him  as  he  landed,  and  amidst  cries  of  "  Long  live 
Kosciuszko  !  "  the  citizens  drew  his  carriage  to  his 

Washington  had  just  ceased  to  be  President. 
His  successor,  Adams,  wrote  congratulating  Kos- 
ciuszko on  his  arrival,  "  after  the  glorious  efforts 
you  have  made  on  a  greater  theatre.  "^  Washington 
wrote  also  :  "  Having  just  been  informed  of  your 
safe  arrival  in  America,  I  was  on  the  point  of  writing 

I  op.  cit. 


to  you  a  congratulatory  letter  on  the  occasion,  wel- 
coming you  to  the  land  whose  liberties  you  have 
been  so  instrumental  in  establishing,  when  I  received 
your  favour  of  the  23rd.  [A  letter  of  Kosciuszko's 
with  a  packet  he  had  been  requested  to  convey  to 
Washington.]  ...  I  beg  you  to  be  assured  that 
no  one  has  a  higher  respect  and  veneration  for  your 
character  than  I  have  ;  and  no  one  more  sincerely 
wished,  during  your  arduous  struggle  in  the  cause 
of  liberty  and  your  country,  that  it  might  be  crowned 
with  success.  But  the  ways  of  Providence  are 
inscrutable,  and  mortals  must  submit.  I  pray  you 
to  believe  that  at  all  times  and  under  any  circum- 
stances it  would  make  me  happy  to  see  you  at  my 
last  retreat,  from  which  I  never  expect  to  be  more 
than  twenty  miles  again. "' 

The  story  of  the  meeting  between  Washington  and 
Ko^ciuszko,  of  Kosciuszko's  words,  "  Father,  do  you 
recognize  your  son  ?  "  is  a  myth.  They  met  neither 
in  Philadelphia  nor  elsewhere.  The  above  letter  is 
the  last  indication  of  any  intercourse  between  them. 
Washington  at  this  period  was  regarded  with  no 
favour  by  the  democracy.  Kosciuszko's  sympathies 
were  with  the  latter  and  with  Jefferson,  and  he  never 
accepted  the  invitation  to  Washington's  home  in 
Mount  Vernon. 

Yellow  fever  breaking  out  in  Philadelphia, 
Ko^ciuszko  went  for  a  time  elsewhere  :  first~to  New 
York,  to  the  beautiful  house  of  his  old  friend  and. 
commander,  Gates,  later  to  New  Brunswick,  where 
he  stayed  with  another  friend  of  the  past.  General 
White,  in  a  family  circle  that  attracted  his  warm 
regard.     He  was  still  confined  to  his  sofa,  and  amused 

»  Writings  oj  George  Washington,  ed.   Jared  Sparks. 

EXILE  179 

himself  by  his  favourite  pastime  of  drawing  and 
painting,  tended  by  the  ladies  of  the  house  with  a 
solicitude  which  drew  from  him  after  he  had  gone 
back  to  Philadelphia  a  charming  "  hospitable  roof  " 
letter.  I  have  been  unable  to  see  the  original  English 
in  which  Kosciuszko  wrote  this  letter,  which  is 
given  in  a  privately  printed  American  memoir.  I  am 
therefore  obliged  to  translate  it  from  the  Polish 
version,  which  is  in  its  turn  a  translation  into  Polish 
from  Kosciuszko's  English.  We  therefore  lose  the 
flavour  of  Kosciuszko's  not  wholly  correct  manipu- 
lation of  our  language  : — 

"  Madam, 

"  I  cannot  rest  till  I  obtain  your  forgiveness  in 
all  its  fulness  for  the  trouble  I  gave  you  during  my 
stay  in  your  house.  .  .  .  Perhaps  I  was  the  cause  of 
depriving  you  of  amusements  more  suited  to  your 
liking  and  pleasure,  than  busying  yourself  with  me. 
You  never  went  out  to  pay  visits.  You  were  kind 
enough  to  ask  me  daily  what  I  liked,  what  I  did  not 
like  :  all  my  desires  were  carried  out ;  all  my  wishes 
were  anticipated,  to  gratify  me  and  to  make  my 
stay  agreeable.  Let  me  receive  an  answer  from  you, 
forgiving  me,  I  beg  Eliza  [her  daughter]  to  inter- 
cede for  me.  I  owe  you  too  great  a  debt  to  be  able 
to  express  it  in  words  adequate  to  my  obligation  and 
my  gratitude.  Let  this  suffice,  that  I  shall  never 
forget  it,  and  that  its  memory  will  never  be  extin- 
guished for  even  one  moment  in  my  heart."  ^ 

He  gave  these  ladies  some  of  the  splendid  presents 
he  had  received  from  the  Russian  Tsar  :    magnificent 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


furs,  a  necklace  of  Siberian  corals,  and  to  White 
himself  the  Duchess  of  Devonshire's  ring.  His 
memory  went  down  through  the  family,  and  Mrs. 
White's  grandson  often  heard  his  grandmother  tell 
of  her  Polish  guest,  and  how  she  held  no  other  man  his 
equal — with  the  patriotic  exception  of  Washington  ! 
White  was  a  valuable  auxiliary  to  Kosciuszko  in  a 
somewhat  intricate  piece  of  business.  To  live  on  the 
gift  of  money  which  Paul  I  had  given  him  was  an 
odious  position  that  Kosciuszko  would  not  tolerate. 
It  was  his  intention  to  return  it,  and  to  claim  from 
Congress  the  arrears  of  the  stipend  owing  to  him 
from  1788,  and  that  through  some  mischance  had 
never  reached  him.  W^ith  White's  assistance  a 
portion  of  the  American  sum  was  handed  over  to 
him;  but  the  return  of  the  Tsar's  present  was  not 
so  easy.  Niemcewicz  pointed  out  that  such  a  pro- 
ceeding would  infallibly  rouse  the  revenge  of  the 
Tsar  upon  the  Poles  in  his  dominions.  This  decision 
was  against  Ko^ciuszko's  personal  feeling  on  the 
matter.  He  bided  his  time,  and,  as  we  shall  see, 
at  a  more  propitious  moment  took  his  own  counsel. 
A  bevy  of  visitors  and  admirers  again  surrounded 
Kosciuszko  in  Philadelphia.  Among  them  were  the 
future  Louis  Philippe,  with  the  Princes  de  Montpensier 
and  Beaujolais.  They  called  themselves  citizens 
of  France,  and  sported  the  tricolour.  They  often 
spent  the  evening  with  Kosciuszko,  and  on  their 
farewell  visit  Kosciuszko  gave  the  younger  prince 
a  pair  of  fur  boots.  But  the  man  with  whom 
Kosciuszko  was  on  the  closest  and  warmest  terms  of 
intimacy  was  Thomas  Jefferson.  The  pastel  portrait 
that  Kosciuszko  painted  of  this  dear  friend  is  pre- 
served among  Poland's  national  relics.     "  He,"  wrote 

EXILE  181 

Jefferson  to  Gates,  "  is  the  purest  son  of  liberty 
among  you  all  that  I  have  ever  known,  the  kind 
of  '  liberty  which  extends  to  all,  not  only  to  the 
rich."i  To  Jefferson  Kosciuszko  confided  the  testa- 
ment of  his  American  property,  which  he  had  been 
granted  from  Congress  on  the  close  of  the  War  of 
Independence,  and  which  lay  in  Ohio  on  the  site  of 
the  present  city  of  Columbus  ;  to  Jefferson,  again, 
was  entrusted  the  conduct  of  Kosciuszko's  secret 
departure  from  the  States  in  1798. 

Some  time  in  the  March  of  that  year  a  packet  of 
letters  from  Europe  was  handed  to  Kosciuszko. 
His  emotion  on  reading  the  contents  was  so  strong 
that,  despite  his  crippled  condition,  he  sprang  from 
his  couch  and  staggered  without  a  helping  hand  to 
the  middle  of  the  room.  "  I  must  return  at  once 
to  Europe,"  he  said  to  General  White,  with  no 
further  explanation.  Jefferson  procured  him  a  pass- 
port to  France  under  a  false  name,  and  then  with 
only  Jefferson's  knowledge,  with  no  word  either  to 
Niemcewicz  or  to  his  servant,  for  both  of  whom  he 
left  a  roll  of  money  in  a  drawer  in  his  cupboard,  he 
sailed  for  France.  Before  he  embarked  he  wrote  out 
the  will  that  he  sent  to  Jefferson  in  which,  more  than 
half  a  century  before  the  war  of  North  and  South, 
the  Polish  patriot  pleaded  for  the  emancipation  of 
th£-Jie^ra§lay  es .        "  ■"""^ 

"  I,     Thaddeus     Kosciuszko " — the    text    is    the  '    ^"^ 
original  English — "  being  just  in  my  departure  from 
America,  do  hereby  declare  and  direct  that  should 
I   make  no   other   testamentary   disposition   of   my 
property  in  the  United  States  thereby  authorize  my 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 



'  friend  Thomas  Jefferson  to  employ  the  whole  thereof 
in  purchasing  jie^roes  from  among  his  own  as  any 
others  and  giving  them  liberty  in  my  name7in~giving 
them  an  education  in  trades  or  otherwise,  and  in 
haying  them  instructed  for  their  new  condition  in 
the  duties 'oT~mofality  which  may  make  them  good 
neighbours,  good  fathers  or  mothers,  husbands  or 
wives,  and  in  their  duties  as  citizens,  teaching  them 
to  be  defenders  of  their  liberty  and  country  and  of 
the  good  order  of  society  and  in  whatsoever  may  make 
them  happy  and  useful,  and  I  make  the  said  Thomas 

,  Jefferson  my  executor  of  this. 

-  "  T.  KosciuszKO. 

"  5th  day  of  May,  1798." 

There  seems  to  have  been  some  difficulty  in  the 
way  of  putting  the  bequest  into  effect,  perhaps, 
suggests  Korzon,  on  account  of  Jefferson's  advanced 
years  by  the  time  that  the  testator  was  dead.  It 
was  never  carried  out ;  but  in  1826  the  legacy  went  to 
found  the  coloured  school  at  Newark,  theTSrst  edu- 
cational  institute  for  negroes  to  be  opened  in  the 
United  States,  and  which  bore  Kosciuszko's  name. 

The  secret  of  his  movements  is  easily  deciphered 
in  a  man  of  Kosciuszko's  stamp.  It  was  the  call  of 
his  country  that  drew  him  back  to  Europe. 

For  we  have  reached  that  period  of  Polish  history 
which  belongs  to  the  Polish  legions  :  the  moment 
of  brilliance  and  of  glo"ry  whe'ff;  led  by  the  Polish 
flags,  Polish  soldiers  in  the  armies  of  Napoleon  shed 
their  blood  on  every  battlefield  of  Europe.  In  the 
hope  of  regaining  from  Napoleon  the  freedom  of  their 
country,  the  former  soldiers  of  the  Republic,  no  less 
than  the  rising  young  Polish  manhood,  panting  with 

EXILE  183 

passionate  g^Ltriotism  and  with  thejvvarlike  instinct 
'  of~their"^ace,  enrolfe^ 'themselves  nr~the  French 
SLttnyT"^'  Poland  has  not  perished  while  we  live," 
was  the  song,  the  March  of  Domhrowski,  with  which 
they  went  to  battle,  and  which  to  this  da3^  forbidden 
though  it  has  been  by  their  oppressors,  we  may  hear 
Poles  sing  at  national  gatherings.  The  leader  of  the 
legions  was  the  gallant  Dombrowski.  "  Fellow- 
citizens  !  Poles  !  "  cried  he"  in  his  manifesto  to  his 
nation  in  language  strangely  prophetic  of  the  hour 
that  is  scarcely  past,  when  we  have  seen  a  PoHsh 
army  in  Polish  uniform  fighting  for  liberty  by  the 
side  of  the  AlHes  in  the  European  War  :  "  Hope  is 
rising  !  France  is  conquering.  The  battahons  are 
forming.  Comrades,  join  us  !  Fhng  away  the 
weapons  which  you  have  been  compelled  to  bear. 
Let  us  fight  for  the  common  cause  of  all  the  nations, 
for  freedom."^ 

In  these  early  days  Js^apoleon's  betrayal  of  Poland  C 
was  a  tale  still  untold  ;    but  to  the  end  the  Poles  ;■ 
fought  by  his  side  with  a  hope  in  him  that  only  ., 
died  with  his  fall,  with  a  love  and  loyalty  to  his  |^^ 
person  that  survived  it. 

Such  was  the  news  that  travelled  across  the 
Atlantic  to  Kosciuszko  with  dispatches  that  informed 
him  that  his  two  nephews,  sons  of  his  sister  Anna, 
who  had  borne  arms  in  the  Rising,  had  been  sent  in 
the  name  of  Kosciuszko  by  their  mother  to  Bonaparte 
with  the  prayer  that  they  might  serve  in  his  ranks. 
By  the  end  of  June,  1798,  Kosciuszko  was  in  France, 
in  Bayonne.  ~~ 

The  accustomed  acclamations  greeted  him  there. 
Some  fit e-champetre  was  arranged  at  which  Kosciuszko, 

«  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko 


the  guest  of  honour,  watched  peasants  laying  their 
ploughs  at  the  feet  of  soldiers,  in  exchange  for  the 
weapons  of  war.  "  It  would  have  been  thus  in 
Poland,"  he  was  heard  to  murmur  to  himself,  "  if 
fate  had  not  betrayed  us." 

In  Paris  he  heard  sympathy  with  himself  and  the 
Polish  cause  expressed  on  all  siHesT^"  PubTIc~toasts  to 
the  defender  of  the  nation  who  was  pouring  her 
blood  like  water  in  the  cause  of  France  were  the 
order  of  the  hour.  Ko^ciuszko  was  moved  to  tears 
as  he  listened  to  the  utterance  of  these  good  wishes  for 
his  country's  liberation.  His  first  task  was  to  confer 
with  the  various  foreign  ambassadors  and  with 
Dombrowski's  adjutant,  Dombrowski  being  in  Italy. 
He  then  definitely  broke  the  bond  between  himself 
and  Paul  L  He~reIurne3l~fEgjmoney  i^ce^^  from 
the  Tsar"  with  the  following  letter  : — 

"  I  am  profiting  by  the  first  moment  of  liberty  which 
I  am  enjoying  under  the  fostering  laws  of  the  greatest 
and  noblest  of  nations  to  send  you  back  a  gift,  to 
the  acceptance  of  which  I  was  forced  by  the  mani- 
festations of  your  benevolence  and  the  merciless 
proceedings  of  your  ministers.  If  I  agreed  to  accept 
it,  let  Your  Majesty  ascribe  this  only  to  the  uncon- 
querable strength  of  the  attachment  which  I  bear  to 
my  compatriots,  the  companions  of  my  misfortunes, 
as  well  as  to  m}^  hopes  of  still  serving  my  country. 
It  seemed  to  me  that  my  unhappy  condition  moved 
your  heart,  but  your  ministers  and  their  satellites 
did  not  proceed  with  me  according  to  your  wishes. 
Therefore,  since  they  have  dared  to  ascribe  to  my 
free  resolution  an  act  to  which  they  forced  me,  I  will 
disclose  their  violence  and  perfidy  before  you  and 
before  all  men  who  know  the  worth  of  honour,  and 

EXILE  185 

may  they  only  be  answerable  before  you,  Sire,  for 
the  proclamation  of  their  unworthy  conduct. "^ 

At  the  same  time  that  Kosciuszko  forwarded  this 
letter  to  the  Tsar  he  pubHshed  it  in  two  French 
papers.  The  Tsar^'s  reply  was  to  return  the  sum 
through  the  Russian  ambassador  in  Vienna,  with 
the  remark  that  he  would  "  accept  nothing  from 
tjaitors."  It  lay  untouched  in  an  English  bank 
till  Kosciuszko's  death. 

Even  before  the  repudiation  of  Kosciuszko's  oath 
reached  Petersburg  the  fact  of  his  arrival  in  France 
had  roused  the  wrath  of  Paul's  envoy  in  Berlin, 
who  deliberated  with  the  Prussian  ministers  how  to 
impede  "  the  criminal  intentions  of  the  chief  per- 
petrator and  instigator  ^f  the  jrevolution  in'Poland." 
Kosciuszko's  instant  arrest  was  decreed,  should  he 
ever  be  seen  within  the  boundaries  of  Russia's 
domination,  and  any  one  who  entered  into  relations 
with  him  there  was  branded  as  a  traitor.  Austria 
and  Prussia  followed  suit.  Thus  was  Kosciuszko's 
return  to  his  own  country  barred  before  him. 

Closely  watched  by  Russian  and  Prussian  spies, 
who  communicated,  often  erroneously,  to  their 
respective  governments  the  movements  of  "  that 
adventurer,"  as  one  of  them  styles  him,  Kosciuszko 
had  his  headquarters  in  Paris.  He  was  there  when 
Kniaziewlcz,  fresh  from  the  triumphs  of  the  legions 
in  Italy,  brought  him,  in  the  name  of  Poland, 
Sobieski's  sword.  It  had  been  preserved  at  Loreto, 
whither  the  deliverer  of  Vienna  had  sent  it  more 
than  a  century  ago,  after  his  triumph  over  the  Turks. 
The  newly  founded  Republic  of  Rome  presented  it  to 
the  officers  of  the  Polish  legions  in  1798,  who  destined 

»  T.  Korzon,  Koiciuseko. 


it  for  Kosciuszko.     "  God  grant,"  said  Ko^ciuszko, 
in  his  letter  of  acknowledgment  to  his  fellow-Poles, 

r  "  that  we  may  lay  down  our  swords  together  with 
the  sword  of  Sobieski  in  the  temple  of  peace,  having 
won  freedom  and  universal  happiness  for  our  com- 

'  patriots. "' 

For  a  while  Kosciuszko,  continuously  corresponding 
with  the  French  government,  acted  more  or  less  as 
the  head  of  the  legions.  But  wKen  in  October, 
ifgg;'  ihe  government  officially  offered  him  the 
leadership  of  the  legions,  he  refused,  for  the  reason 
that  he  saw  no  sign  that  France  was  prepared  to 
recognize  their  distinct  entity  as  a  PoHsh  national 
army,  and  because  he  suspected  Bonaparte  would 
use  them  merely  as  French  regiments — a  "  corps  of 
mercenaries,"  as  the  Pohsh  patriot  bitterly  exclaims 
— for  his  own  ends.  He  had  written — September, 
1799 — to  the  Directory,  eloquently  reminding  France 
that  the  Pohsh  legions  were  founded  to  fight  for  the 
independence  of  Poland,  and  that  in  the  hope  of 
freedom  the  Poles  had  gladly  fought  "  enemies  who 
were,  besides  their  own,  the  enemies  of  freedom," 
but  that  their  dearest  hopes  had  already  been  deceived. 
"  These  considerations  impel  me  to  beg  you  to  show 
us  some  ray  of  hope  regarding  the  restoration  of 
independence  to  our  country. "^  He  required  guar- 
antees from  Bonaparte,  and  these  he  never  received. 
Young  Bonaparte  and  the  Pole  met  for  the  first 
time  on  the  former's  return  from  his  brilliant 
Egyptian  campaign,  when  he  called  on  Kosciuszko, 
Kniaziewicz  being  also  in  the  room.  The  interview 
was  brief  and  courteous.  "  I  greatly  wished,"  said 
Napoleon,  "  to  make  the  acquaintance  of  the  hero  of 

»  Letters  of  Kosciuszko.  /  *  T.  Korzon,  Koiciuszko. 

EXILE  187 

the  North."  "  And  I,"  rephed  Kosciuszko,  "  am 
happy  to  see  the  conqueror  of  Europe  and  the  hero 
of  the  East."  At  a  subsequent  official  banquet  at 
which  Kosciuszko  was  present,  some  instinct  warned 
him  of  the  course  Napoleon's  ambition  was  to  take. 
"Be  on  your  guard  against  that  young  man,"  he 
said  on  that  occasion  to  certain  members  of  the 
French  government ;  and  a  few  days  later  Napoleon 
proclaimed  himself  First  Consul.  From  that  time 
Kosciuszko  began  to  withdraw  from  relations  with 
French  officialdom,  and  to  concern  himself  only 
with  the  private  matters  of  the  Polish  legions,  not 
with  their  public  affairs.  Lebrun  reproached  him  for 
showing  his  face  no  more  among  the  high  officers 
of  state.  "  You  are  now  all  so  grand,"  replied  the 
son  of  the  simple,  far-distant  Lithuanian  home, 
"  that  I  in  my  modest  garb  am  not  worthy  to  go 
among  you."  In  1801  came  the  Treaty  of  Luneville 
with  Napoleon's  bitter  deception  of  Poland's  hopes. 
Rage  and  despair  filled  the  Polish  legions.  Numbers 
of  their  soldiers  tendered  their  resignations.  Others 
remained  in  the  French  army,  and  were  sent  by 
Napoleon,  to  rid  himself  of  them,  said  his  enemies, 
oil  the  disastrous  expedition  to  San  Domingo.  Done 
to  death  by  yellow  fever,  by  the  arms  of  the  natives 
and  the  horrible  onslaughts  of  the  negroes'  savage 
dogs,  four  hundred  alone  survived  to  return. 

HencefortlT  Kosciuszko  would  have  nothing  further 
to  say  to  Bonaparte.  Before  a  large  audience  at  a 
gathering  in  the  house  of  Lebrun  the  latter  called 
out  to  Kosciuszko  :  "  Do  you  know.  General,  that 
the  First  Consul  has  been  speaking  about  you  ?  " 
"  I  never  speak  about  him,"  Kosciuszko  answered 
curtly,  and  he  visited  Lebrun  no  more.     The  anguish 


of  this  fresh  wrong  to  his  nation  wen.t  f ar  to  break 
himT  He  again  suffered  intensely  from  the  wound 
in  his  head,  and  old  age  seemed  suddenly  to  come 
upon  him.  Many  of  the  Polish  soldiers  who  had 
left  the  legions  were  homeless  and  penniless.  These 
Kosciuszko  took  pains  to  recommend  to  his  old 
friend  Jefferson,  now  President  of  the  United  States. 
"God  bless  you" — so  Jefferson  ends  his  reply — "and 
preserve  you  still  for  a  season  of  usefulness  to  your 
country."  I 

Kosciuszko's  intercourse  with  his  American  friends 
did  not  slacken.  At  the  request  of  one  of  them  he 
wrote  a  treatise  in  French  on  artillery  that,  trans- 
lated in  the  United  States  into  English,  became  a 
textbook  at  West  Point. 

About  this  time  Kosciuszko  came  across  a  Ssiss 
family  whose  name  will  ever  sound  gratefully  to  the 
Polish  ear  as  the  friends  under  whose  roof  he  found 
the  domestic  hearth  that  gladdened  his  declining 
years.  The  Republican  sympathies  of  the  Zeltjiej: 
brothers,  one  of  whom  was  the  diplomatic  repre- 
sentative of  Switzerland  in  France,  first  attracted 
Kosciuszko  to  them.  Their  relations  soon  grew 
intimate  ;  and  Kosciuszko's  first  visit  in  their  house, 
his  sojourn  with  them  in  the  country  at  Berville, 
near  Fontainebleau,  that  reminded  him  of  the  Poland 
he  had  lost  for  ever,  were  the  beginning  of  a  common 
household  that  only  death  severed. 

Napoleon  became  emperor.  He  crushed  Prussia  at 
Jena,  from  Berlin  summoned  the  Poles  in  "  Prussian  " 
Poland  to  rise,  and  sent  his  minister,  Fouche,  to 
Kosciuszko,   as  the  leader  whose  name  every  Pole 

I  Memoirs,  Correspondence  and  Miscellanies  of  Thomas  Jefferson, 
ed.  Thomas  Jefferson  Randolph.     Charlottesville,  1829. 

EXILE  189 

would  follow,  to  engage  him  to  place  himself  at  their 
head.  Kosciuszko  received  these  proposals  with  the 
caution  of  a  long  and  bitter  experience.  Would 
Napoleon,  he  asked,  openly  state  what  he  intended 
to  do  for  Poland  ?  Fouche  put  him  off  with  vague 
promises  of  the  nature  that  the  Poles  had  already 
heard,  and  of  which  the  Treaty  of  Luneville  had 
taught  them  the  worth,  coupled  with  threats  of 
Napoleon's  personal  vengeance  on  Kosciuszko  if  he 
opposed  the  Emperor's  desire.  "  The  Emperor," 
answered  Kosciuszko,  "  can  dispose  of  me  according 
to  his  will,  but  I  doubt  if  in  that  case  my  nation 
would  render  him  any  service.  But  in  the  eyent 
of  mutual,  reciprocal  services  my  nation,' as  well  as  I, 
will  be  ready  to  serve  him.  May  Providence  forbid," 
he  added  solemnly,  "  that  your  powerful  and  august 
monarch  shall  have  cause  to  regret  that  he  despised 
our  goodwill."^ 

But  the  tide  of  Napoleonic  worship  ran  too  high 
not  to  carry  all  before  it.  Kosciuszko's  was  the  one 
dissentient  voice.  Before  the  interview  with  Fouche 
had  taken  place,  Wybicki  and  Dombrowski,  unable 
to  conceive  that  Kosciuszko  would  take  a  different 
line,  had  given  their  swords  to  the  Emperor.  Jozef 
Poniatowski  did  likewise.  In  November,  1808, 
Napoleon  entered  Poznan  (Posen).  In  the  same 
month  the  French  armies  were  in  Warsaw,  and  the 
Poles,  in  raptures  of  rejoidng,  were  haihng  Napoleon 
as~the  liberator  of  their  nation.  Fouche,  already 
cognizant  of  Kosciuszko's  attitude,  issued  a  bogus 
manifesto,  purporting  to  be  from  Kosciuszko,  sum- 
moning his  countrymen  to  Napoleon's  flag.  But 
Kosciuszko    himself    only    consented    to    repair    to 

I  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 


Warsaw,  and  throw  his  weight  into  the  balance  for 
0  Napoleon,  if  the  Emperor  would  sign  in  writing  and 
(        publicly  proclaim  his  promise  to  restore  Poland  under 

the  following  three  conditions  : — 

(i)  That  the  form  of  Poland's  government  should 

be  that  of  the  English  constitution  ; 

(2)  That   the   peasants   should   be   liberated   and 
possess  their  own  land  ;  and 

(3)  That  the  old  boundaries  of  Poland  should  be 

He  wrote  to  this  effect  to  Fouche,  and  privately 
told  a  Polish  friend  that  if  the  Emperor  consented 
to  these  conditions  he  would  fall  at  his  feet  and 
swear  to  the  gratitude  of  the  whole  nation. ^  The 
reply  given  by  Napoleon  to  Fouche  was  that  he 
^  attached  "  no  importance  to  Kosciuszko.  His  con- 
*     duct  proves'  thaTftg" IS  only  a  fool."  2 

"Active  service  for  Poland  was  thus  closed  to 
Kosciuszko.  Anxious  to  leave  a  Napoleon-ridden 
France,  he  requested  permission  to  retire  to  Switzer- 
land. It  was  refused,  and  he  had  nothing  for  it 
but  to  remain  in  his  French  country  retreat,  under 
police  supervision.  He  stayed  there  for  the  five 
years  tEaf"Napoleon's  conquests  shook  the  world", 
"condemning  with  his  whole  soul  the  spread  of  an 
empire  on  ruin  and  bloodshed,  occupying  himself 
with  his  favourite  hobbies  of  gardening  and  handi- 
crafts, working  at  his  turning  and  making  wooden 
clogs.  The  family  with  whom  he  lived  was  as  his 
own.  His  name  was  given  to  the  three  children  who 
were  born  since  his  residence  under  its  roof  :  the 
only   one   of   them   who   survived   infancy — Taddea 

'  General  Paszkowski,  History  of  Tadeusz  Kosciuszko.      Cracow, 
1872  (Polish),  2  Napoleon  I,  Coyrespondance.     Paris,  1863. 

EXILE  191 

Emilia — became  the  beloved  child  of  Kosciuszko's  old 
age.  The  eldest  son  learnt  from  him  love  for  Poland 
and  fought  in  the  Pohsh  Rising  of  1830. 

The  story  of  the  Russian  campaign  of  1812,  with 
the  passion  of  hope  that  it  evoked  in  the  Polish 
nation  and  its  extinction  in  the  steppes  of  Russia, 
need  not  be  repeated  here.  In  March,  1814,  the 
allied  armies  and  the  monarchs  of  Russia  and  Prussia 
entered  Paris. 

Alexander  I,  the  youth  who  had  visited  Kosciuszko 
in  prison,  was  now  Tsar  of  Russia.  In  the  days  when 
Alexander  was  a  neglected  heir  at  the  court  of 
Catherine  II  young  Adam  Czartoryski  was  a  hostage 
at  the  same  court,  concealing  his  yearning  for  his 
country  and  loathing  for  his  surroundings  under  the 
icy  reserve  that  was  his  only  defence.  One  day 
Alexander  drew  the  young  prince  aside  in  the  palace 
gardens,  told  him  that  he  had  long  observed  him 
with  sympathy  and  esteem,  and  that  it  was  his 
intention  when  he  succeeded  to  the  throne  to  restore 
Poland.  This  was  the  beginning  of  that  strange 
friendship  which  led  to  a  Pole  directing  the  foreign 
policy  of  Russia  in  the  years  preceding  the  Congress 
of  Vienna,  and  ended  in  Alexander's  betrayal  of 
Czartoryski's  nation. 

But  in  the  spring  of  18 14  Alexander  was  still  of 
liberal  and  generous  tendencies.  That  Kosciuszko 
must  have  left  a  strong  impression  on  his  memory 
is  evident ;  for  on  entering  Paris  he  performed  the 
graceful  act  of  charging  the  PoHsh  officers  about  him 
with  courteous  messages  for  the  patriot  of  Poland. 
Kosciuszko  never  lost  an  opportunity  of  furthering 
the  cause  to  which  his  life  was  devoted.  He  at 
once  wrote  to  the  Tsar,  venturing,  so  he  said,  from 


his  "  remote  corner "  of  the  world  to  lay  three 
requests  before  him.  The  first  was  that  Alexander 
s'hould  proclaim  a  general  amnesty  for  the  Poles  in 
his  dominions  and  that  the  Polish  peasants,  dispersed 
in  foreign  countries,  should  be  considered  not  serfs, 
but  free  men,  on  their  return  to  Poland  ;  the  second, 
that  Alexander  should  proclaim  himself  king  of  a 
free  Poland,  to  be  ruled  by  a  constitution  on  the 
pattern  of  England's,  and  that  schools  f^r.^he 
peasantry  should  be  opened  at  the  cost  of  the  state 
as  the  certain  means  of  ensuring  to  them  their  liberty. 
"  If,"  he  added,  "  my  requests  are  granted,  I  will 
come  in  person,  although  sick,  to  cast  myself  at 
the  feet  of  Your  Imperial  Majesty  to  thank  you 
and  to  render  you  homage  as  to  my  sovereign.  If 
my  feeble  talents  can  still  be  good  for  anything, 
I  will  immediately  set  out  to  rejoin  my  fellow- 
citizens  so  as  to  serve  my  countfy  and  my 
sovereign  honourably  and  faithfully.  "^ 

He  then  asks  a  private  favour — not  for  himself  : 
that  Zeltner,  who  had  a  large  family  to  support  and 
whom  Kosciuszko  was  too  poor  to  help,  might  be 
given  some  post  in  the  new  French  government, 
or  in  Poland. 

He  received  no  answer  ;  and  so  came  into  Paris 
and  obtained  an  audience.  Alexander  greeted  him 
as  an  honoured  friend,  and  bade  him  be  assured  of 
his  good  intentions  towards  Poland.  A  stream  of 
visits  and  receptions  then  set  in,  at  which  Kosciuszko 
was  the  recipient  of  public  marks  of  esteem,  not 
only  from  the  Tsar,  but  from  his  brother,  the 
Grand   Duke   Constantine,   whose   ill-omened   name 

I  d'Angeberg,  Rectieil  des  Traitis,  Conventions  ei  Actes  Diplo- 
tnatiques  concernant  la  Pologne,  1762- 1862.     Paris,   1862. 

EXILE  193 

was  later  to  win  for  itself  the  execration  of  the  Polish 
nation.  But  Kosciuszko  was  too  far-sighted  to 
content  himself  with  promises.  He  asked  for  a 
written^  statement  of  what  his  country  fnight  expect 
from  the  TsarT'  Alexander  answered,  on  the  3rd  of 
May,  1814  : 

"  Your  dearest  wishes  will  be  accomplished.  With 
the  aid  of  the  Almighty  I  hope  to  bring  about  the 
resurrection  of  the  valiant  and  admirable  nation 
to  which  you  belong.  I  have  taken  upon  myself 
this  solemn  obligation.  .  .  ,  Only  pohtical  circum- 
stances have  placed  obstacles  against  the  execution 
of  my  intentions.  Those  obstacles  no  longer  exist, 
.  .  .  Yet  a  Uttle  more  time  and  prudence,  and  the 
Poles  shall  regain  their  country,  their  name,  and 
I  shall  have  the  pleasure  of  convincing  them  that, 
forgetting  the  past,  the  man  whom  they  held  for 
their  enemy  is  the  man  who  shall  fulfil  their 
desires."  i 

Further  personal  interviews  followed  between 
Kosciuszko  and  the  Tsar.  Later,  Kosciuszko  called 
upon  these  as  his  witness  when,  at  the  Congress  of 
y  Vienna,  Alexander  went  back  upon  his  given  word. 
The  question  of  Poland  was  now  to  come  up  in  the 
European  Congress,  as  one  of  the  most  pressing 
problems  of  the  stabiUty  of  Europe.  Alexander  I's 
intention  was  to  found  a  kingdom  of  Poland  of  which 
he  should  be  crowned  king.  Adam  Czartoryski, 
Alexander's  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs,  requested 
Kosciuszko  to  repair  to  Vienna  and  dehberate  with 
himself  and  the  Tsar  upon  the  matter.  Napoleon 
was  back  from  Elba  and  marching  on  Paris,  and  to 
ensure  the  possibihty  of  prosecuting  a  journey  under 

'  op.  cit. 


the  complications  of  the  hour  Kosciuszko  was  advised 
to  have  his  passport  made  out  under  some  name 
not  his  own.     He  chose  that  of  "  Pole." 

With  considerable  difficulty,  constantly  turned 
back  by  police  authorities,  forbidden  entrance  by 
the  Bavarian  frontier,  sent  about  from  pillar  to 
post,  the  white-haired,  frail  old  soldier  at  last  reached 
the  Tsar's  headquarters  at  Braunau.  The  Tsar  and 
he  conferred  for  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  Kosciuszko 
derived  small  satisfaction  from  the  interview,  and 
immediately  proceeded  to  visit  Czartoryski  in  Vienna. 
Czartoryski  had  nothing  good  to  tell.  The  wrangling 
over  the  Pohsh  question  at  the  Congress,  the  mutual 
suspicions  and  jealousies  of  every  power  represented, 
nearly  brought  about  another  war.  In  May,  1815, 
Russia,  Austria,  and  Prussia  signed  an  agreement  for 
a  renewed  division  of  Poland  between  them.  An 
autonomous  Kingdom  of  Poland  was,  it  is  true,  to 
be  formed,  with  the  Tsar  as  king,  but  only  out  of  a 
small  part  of  Poland.  As  regards  the  remaining 
Polish  provinces  that  remained  under  Russia's  rule, 
they  were  severed  from  the  Kingdom  and  incorporated 
with  Russia, 

Kosciuszko  heard  these  things.  Under  the  shock 
of  his  apprehensions  he  wrote  to  the  Tsar,  plead- 
ing in  the  strongest  language  at  his  command, 
that  penetrates  through  the  diplomatic  wording  he 
was  compelled  to  use,  against  the  separation  of 
lands  that  were  Polish  from  the  mother  country, 
the  mutilated  Kingdom  of  Poland. 

After  expressing  his  gratitude  for  what  the  Tsar 
was  prepared  to  do  in  the  foundation  of  the  new 
Kingdom  of  Poland,  he  proceeds  : 

"  One  only  anxiety  troubles  my  soul  and  my  joy. 

EXILE  195 

Sire,  I  was  born  a  Lithuanian,  and  I  have  only  a 
few  years  to  hve.  Nevertheless,  the  veil  of  the 
future  still  covers  the  destiny  of  my  native  land  and 
of  so  many  other  provinces  of  my  country,  I  do 
not  forget  the  magnanimous  promises  that  Your 
Majesty  has  deigned  to  make  me  by  word  of  mouth 
in  this  matter,  as  well  as  to  several  of  my  compatriots 
-  .  .  but  my  soul,  intimidated  by  such  long  mis- 
fortunes, needs  to  be  reassured  again."  He  is 
prepared  faithfully  to  serve  Alexander  :  let  the  writer 
descend  to  the  tomb  in  "  the  consohng  certainty 
that  all  your  Pohsh  subjects  will  be  called  to  bless 
your  benefits."! 

In  vain  he  waited  for  an  answer.  Then,  openly, 
as  to  the  Tsar  he  could  not  write,  he  wrote  to 
Czartoryski  : 

"My  Dear  Prince, 

"  You  are  certainly  convinced  that  to  serve 
my  country  efficaciously  is  my  chief  object.  The 
refusal  of  the  Tsar  to  answer  my  last  letter 
removes  from  me  the  possibihty  of  being  of 
service  to  her.  I  have  consecrated  my  hfe  to  the 
greater  part  of  the  nation,  when  to  the  whole  it  was 
not  possible,  but  not  to  that  small  part  to  which  is 
given  the  pompous  name  of  the  Kingdom  of  Poland 
We  should  give  grateful  thanks  to  the  Tsar  for  the 
resuscitatT6n~oirfhe~1ost  "PoTisTrnajner but" a^~n'ame  ^ 

alone  does  not  constitute  a  nation.  ...  I  see  no 
gioarahtee' of  "the"  "promise  of  the  Tsar  made  to  me 
and  many  others  of  the  restoration  of  our  country 
from  the  Dnieper  to  the  Dzwiha,  the  old  boundaries 

'  d'Angeberg,   Recueil    des   Traites,  Conventions  et  Actes   Dipio- 
matiques  concernant  la  Pologne. 


of  the  Kingdom  of  Poland,  except  only  in  our  desires." 
[That  restoration  alone,  says  Kosciuszko,  can  establish 
sound  and  friendly  relations  between  Poland  and 
Russia.  If  a  free  and  distinct  constitution  of  such  a 
kingdom  be  conferred  upon  Poland,  the  Poles  might 
enjoy  happiness.]  "  But  as  things  go  now,  and 
from  the  very  beginning,  Russians  hold  together  with 
ours  the  first  places  in  the  government.  That 
certainly  cannot  inspire  Poles  with  any  great  con- 
fidence. On  the  contrary,  with  dread  each  of  us 
will  form  the  conclusion  that  the  Polish  name  will 
in  time  be  held  in  contempt,  and  that  the  Russians 
will  treat  us  as  their  conquered  subjects,  for  such  a 
scanty  handful  of  a  population  will  never  be  able 
to  defend  itself  against  the  intrigues,  the  prepon- 
derance and  the  violence  of  the  Russians.  And 
can  we  keep  silence  on  those  brothers  of  ours  remain- 
ing under  the  Russian  government  ? "  [Lithuania 
and  Ruthenia.]  "  Our  hearts  shudder  and  suffer  that 
they  are  not  united  to  the  others."  ^ 

Again  Kosciuszko's  unerring  single-mindedness  and 
high  patriotism  had  pierced  through  all  illusions 
and  foretold  the  truth.  His  words  were  literally 
verified.  Fifteen  years  later  Europe  saw  his  nation 
driven  into  an  armed  conflict  for  the  rights  that  had 
been  promised  to  her  by  Alexander,  that  were 
trampled  upon  by  him  and  his  successor,  and  the 
man,  to  whom  the  above  warning  was  addressed, 
outlawed  by  the  Russian  Government  for  the  part 
he  played  in  the  insurrection. 

Kosciuszko  also  wrote  to  Lord  Grey  to  the  same 
effect.     Grey  replied : 

»  T.  Korzon,  Kosciuszko. 

EXILE  197 

"  To  that  first  violation  of  the  sacred  principles  of 
general  liberty  which  was  effected  in  the  partition  of 
1772,  and  those  that  followed  in  1793  and  1795,  we 
must  refer  all  the  dangers  to  which  the  whole  of 
Europe  has  been  subsequently  exposed.  .  .  .  No  real 
safeguard  can  exist  against  the  return  of  these  dangers, 
if  Poland  remains  excluded  from  the  benefits  of  a 
general  deliverance,  which,  to  be  perfect,  must  be 
guaranteed  by  the  solemn  recognition  of  her  rights 
and  independence.  If  the  powers  who  sought  to 
profit  by  injustice  and  who,  in  the  sequence,  have 
suffered  so  much  because  of  it,  could  learn  the  true 
lesson  of  experience,  they  would  see  that  their  mutual 
safetj^  and  tranquiUty  would  be  best  preserved  by 
reestablishing  among  them,  as  a  genuinely  inde- 
pendent state,  the  country  that  a  false  policy  has 
so  cruelly  oppressed."  (Portman  Square,  London, 
July  I,  1814.)! 

This  was  written  a  hundred  years  ago,  and  the 
Nemesis  of  history  is  still  with  us.  The  Congress  of 
Vienna  was  a  fresh  partition  of  Poland. 

If,  so  Kosciuszko  wrote  to  Alexander,  he  could 
have  returned  "  as  a  Pole  to  his  country,"  hejwould 
have  done  so.  As  it  was,  he  refused  to  return  to 
what  he  knew  was  treachery  and  deception.  With 
the  aspect  of  a  man  .who  had  suffered  shipwreck,  he 
left  Vienna,  and  retired  for  good  and  all  from  public 


~"'He  was  now  sixty-nine,  with  his  health,  that 
he  had  never  regained  since  he  was  wounded  at 
Maciejowice,  broken.  All  that  he  asked  was  to  spend 
his  declining  years  in  free  Switzerland  with  a  little 
house  and  garden  of  his  own.     When  it  came  to  the 

'  d'Angeberg,  Recueil  des  Traites. 


point  he  took  up  his  abode  with  the  devoted  Zeltners 
in  Soleure,  and  his  last  days  passed  in  peace  among 
them.  He  prepared  his  morning  coffee  himself  in 
his  room,  upon  the  walls  of  which  hung  a  picture 
painted  in  sepia  after  his  own  indications  of  that 
glorious  memory  of  his  life — the  battle  of  Raclawice. 
He  dined  at  the  family  table,  and  enjoyed  his  evening 
rubber  of  whist  with  the  Zeltners,  the  family  doctor, 
and  a  Swiss  friend.  Every  hour  was  regularly 
employed.  In  the  mornings  he  always  wrote  : 
what,  we  do  not  know,  for  he  left  orders  to  his 
executors  to  destroy  his  papers,  and  unfortunately 
was  too  well  obeyed.  In  the  afternoons  he  walked 
or  rode  out,  generally  on  errands  of  mercy.  The 
little  girl  of  the  house  was  his  beloved  and  constant 
companion ;  and  we  have  a  pretty  picture  of  the 
veteran  hero  of  Poland  teaching  this  child  history, 
mathematics,  and  above  all,  drawing.  His  delight 
was  to  give  children's  parties  for  her  amusement, 
at  which  he  led  the  games  and  dances  and  told  stories. 
He  was  the  most  popular  of  playmates.  His  appear- 
ance in  the  roads  was  thBsignaTfor  an  onslaught  of 
his  child  friends  with  gifts  of  flowers,  while  he  never 
failed  to  rifle  his  pockets  of  the  sweets  with  v^hich 
he  had  stuffed  them  for  the  purpose.  He  loved  not 
only  children,  but  all  young  people.  The  young 
men  and  girls  of  the  neighbourhood  looked  upon 
him  as  a  father,  and  went  freely  to  him  for  sympathy 
and  advice. 

Kosciuszko's  means  were  slender,  and  his  tastes 
remained  always  simple.  An  old  blue  suit  of  well- 
patched  clothes  sufficed  for  him  ;  but  he  must  needs 
have  a  rose  or  violet  in  his  buttonhole,  with  which 
the  ladies  of  Soleure  took  care  to  keep  him  supplied. 

EXILE  199 

The  money  he  should  have  spent  in  furbishing  up 
his  own  person  went  in  charity  and  in  providing 
EmiHa  with  articles  of  dress,  for  the  family,  chiefly 
through  the  father's  improvidence,  was  badly  off. 
He  was  known  by  the  poor  for  many  a  mile  around 
as  their  angel  visitant.  Outside  his  doors  gathered 
daily  an  army  of  beggars,  certain  of  their  regular 
dole.  Kosciuszko's  rides  were  slow,  not  only  on 
account  of  his  wounded  leg,  but  because  his  horse 
stopped  instinctively  whenever  a  beggar  was  sighted, 
in  the  consciousness  that  his  master  never  passed  one 
by  without  giving  alms.  He  was  a  famihar  visitor 
in  the  peasants'  cottages.  Here  he  would  sit  among 
the  homely  folk,  encouraging  them  to  tell  him  the 
tale  of  their  troubles,  pinching  himself  if  only  he 
could  succour  their  distress.  He  would  explain  to 
his  domestic  circle  long  and  unaccountable  absences 
in  wild  wintry  weather  by  the  excuse  that  he  had 
been  visiting  friends.  The  friends  were  peasants, 
sick  and  burdened  with  family  cares,  to  whom 
the  old  man  day  after  day  carried  through  the 
snow  the  money  they  required,  as  the  stranger 
benefactor  who  would  not  allow  his  name  to  be 

Into  this  quiet  routine  broke  the  advent  of  dis- 
tinguished men  and  women  of  every  nation,  eager  to 
pay  their  "hoihage  to  a  man  whose  life  and  character 
had  so  deeply  impressed  Europe.  An  uncertain 
tradition  has  it  that  Ludwika  Lubomirska  visited 
him,  and  that  in  his  old  age  the  two  former  lovers 
talked  together  once  more.  Correspondence  from 
known  and  unknown  friends  poured  in  upon  him. 
Among  these  was  the  Princess  of  Carignano,  the 
mother  of  Carlo   Alberto,  herself  the  daughter  of  a 


Polish  mother,  Franciszka  Krasinska,  through  whom 
the  blood  of  Poland  flows  in  the  veins  of  the  present 
Royal  House  of  Italy.  Nor  was  England  left  out. 
A  book,  now  forgotten,  but  largely  read  in  a  past 
generation,  in  which  Kosciuszko's  exploits  figure, 
Jane  Porter's  Thaddeus  of  Warsaw,  was  sent  to 
Kosciuszko  by  its  author.  Jane  Porter  had  heard 
her  brother's  description  of  the  Polish  hero,  to  whom 
he  had  spoken  when  Kosciuszko  was  in  London.  She 
had  seen  the  Cosway  portrait.  In  his  letter  of  thanks 
Kosciuszko  told  her  jestingly  that  he  was  glad  that 
all  her  eulogies  of  him  were  "  in  a  romance,  because 
no  one  will  beUeve  them."  Either  from  him  or  from 
a  friend  of  his  she  received  a  gold  ring  or,  as  some 
say,  a  medal,  with  a  representation  of  himself  engraved 
upon  it. 

Through  these  last  years  Kosciuszko's  heart  ever 
clung  fondly  to  his  own  land  and  language.  On  the 
French  letters  he  received  his  hand,  as  he  read,  was 
wont  to  trace  Polish  proverbs,  Polish  turns  of  phrase. 
Tears  were  seen  to  rise  to  his  eyes  as,  gazing  at  the 
beautiful  panorama  from  a  favourite  spot  of  his  in 
the  Jura,  a  French  friend  recited  Arnault's  elegy 
on  the  homeless  and  wandering  leaf,  torn  from  the 
parent  oak,  in  which  the  Pole  read  the  story  of  his 
own  exile.  Education  of  the  lower  classes,  for  which 
he  had  already  made  so  strong"a~sIahH!^  continued  to 
be  one  of  the  matters  in  which  he  most  keenly  inter- 
ested himself.  During  his  stay  in  Vienna  he  had 
drawn  up  a  memorandum  on  the  subject  for  those 
responsible  for  the  department  in  the  Kingdom  of 
Poland  then  forming.  One  of  his  last  expeditions 
before  his  death  was  to  a  great  Swiss  educational 
establishment   where   Pestalozzi's   system   had   been 

EXILE  201 

inaugurated,  and  where  Kosciuszko  spent  two 
days  among  the  pupils,  watching  its  working 
with  the  idea  of  its  appHcation  to  PoUsh  require- 

So  his  days  went  by  till  his  quiet  death.  His 
death  was  as  simple  as  had  been  his  life.  He  put 
his  worldly  affairs  in  order,  bequeathing  the  money 
of  Paul  I  that  he  had  never  touched  and  that  he 
would  not  affront  Alexander  I,  with  whom  his 
relations  were  always  friendly,  by  returning,  to  a 
Polish  friend  who  had  fought  under  him  in  the 
Rising  and  to  Emilia  Zeltner,  The  remainder  of  all 
that  he  had  to  give  went  to  other  members  of  the 
Zeltner  family  and  to  the  poor.  He  directed  that 
his  body  should  be  carried  by  the  poor  to  the  grave, 
that  his  own  sword  should  be  laid  in  his  coffin  and 
the  sword  of  Sobieski  given  back  to  the  Polish  nation. 
Then,  with  a  last  look  of  love  bent  upon  the  child 
Emiha,  who  knelt  at  the  foot  of  his  bed,  Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko,  the  greatest  and  the  most  beloved  of 
Poland's  heroes,  gently  breathed  his  last  on  the 
evening  of  October  15,  1817.  _ 

His  body  now  rests  in  the  Wawel  in  Cracow,  where 
lie  Poland's  kings  and  her  most  honoured  dead ; 
his  heart  in  the  Polish  Museum  in  Rapperswil, 
Switzerland,  among  the  national  treasures  that  have 
been  placed  in  a  foreign  land  to  preserve  them  against 
spoliation  by  Poland's  conquerors.  To  his  memory 
three  years  after  his  death  his  nation  raised  a  monu- 
ment, perhaps  unique  of  its  kind.  Outside  Cracow 
towers  the  Kosciuszko,  hill,  fashioned  by  the  hands 
of  Polish  men,  women,  and  children,  all  bringing 
earth  in  shovel  and  barrow,  to  lay  over  dust,  carried 
thither  with  no  little  difficulty,  from  the  battlefields 


where  Kosciuszko  had  fought  for  Poland.  That  act 
is  typical.  To  this  day  the  name  of  Tadeusz  Kos- 
ciuszko lives  in  the  hearts  of  the  Polish  people,  not 
only  as  the  object  of  their  profound  and  passionate 
love,  but  as  the  symbol  of  their  dearest^national 
aspirations.  He  has  given  his  name  to  the  greatest 
poem  in  the  Polish  language  that  is  read  wherever 
the  Polish  tongue  has  been  carried  by  the  exiled 
sons  of  Poland.  His  pictures,  his  relics,  are  venerated 
as  with  the  devotion  paid  to  a  patron  saint.  Legend, 
folk-song,  national  music  have  gathered  about  his 
name:  and  after  Warsaw  had  risen  for  her  freedom 
on  the  Novem^ber  night  of  1830  it  was  to  the 
strains  of  the  Polonaise  of  Kosciuszko  thaf  the 
Poles  danced  in  a  never-to-be-forgotten  scene  of 
patriotic  exultation. 

A  Prussian  fiction  has  attributed  to  Kosciuszko  as 
he  fell  on  the  field  of  Maciejowice  the  phrase  Finis 
Polonies.  In  a  letter  to  Count  Segur,  Kosciuszko 
indignantly  denied  that  he  had  uttered  a  sentiment 
which  is  the  last  ever  to  be  heard  on  Polish  lips  or 
harboured  in  the  heart  of  a  Pole  ;  and  with  his 
words,  to  which  the  Poles  them.selves  have  borne 
the  most  convincing  testimony  by  the  preservation 
of  their  nationality  unimpaired  through  tragedy 
almost  inconceivable,  through  nearly  a  hundred  and 
fifty  years  of  unremitting  persecution,  I  close  this 
book  on  the  noblest  of  Polish  patriots. 

"  When,"  so  Kosciuszko  writes  to  Segur,  "  the 
Polish  nation  called  me  to  defend  the  integrity,  the 
independence,  the  dignity,  the  glory  and  the  liberty 
of  the  country,  she  knew  well  that  I  was  not  the 
last  Pole,  and  that  with  my  death  on  the  battlefield 
jor  elsewhere  Poland  could  not,  must  not  end.     All 

EXILE  203 

that  the  Poles  have  done  since  then  in  the  glorious 
Polish  legions  and  all  that  they  will  still  do  in  the 
future  to  gain  their  country  back,  sufficiently  proves 
that  albeit  we,  the  devoted  soldiers  of  that  country, 
are  mortal,  Poland  is  immortal. "^ 

'  d'Angeberg,  Recueil  des  Traites. 


d'Angeberg.     Recueil  des   Traites,   Conventions  et  Actes  Diploma- 

tiqttes  concernant  la  Pologne,    1762-1862.     Paris,    1862. 
Askenazy,   Szymon,     Ksiqi^  J<^zsj  Poniatowski.     Cracow,    1905. 
Bartoszemcz,    K.       Dzieje    Insurekcji    Kosciuszkowskiej.      Vienna, 

Baudouin   de    Courtenay,    R.    Nowe   Materyaly   do   Dziejow   Kos- 

ciuszki.     Cracow,   1889, 
Cambridge  Modern  Historj',  VIII.     The  Extinction  of  Poland,  by 

Professor  Richard  Lodge. 
Chodiko,  L.     Zywote   Narodowe.     Usque   ad  Finem.     Paris,  1859. 
Chotoniewski,  A.     Tadeusz  Kosciuszko.     Lwow,   1902. 
Dyboski,    Roman.     Powstanie   Kosciuszki  w  Powiesci  Angielskiej. 

Cracow,   1908. 
Eversley,   Lord.     The  Partitions  oj  Poland.     1915. 
Falkenstein,   K.     Tadeusz  Kosciuszko.     Wroclaw,    1831. 
Grappin,  H.     Histoire  de  Pologne.     Paris. 
Greene,    George    Washington.     Life    of    Nathaniel    Greene.     New 

York,   1 87 1. 
JefiEerson,    Thomas.     Memoirs,    Correspondence    and    Miscellanies. 

Ed.   by  Thomas   Jefferson  Randolph,   Charlottesville,    1829. 
Johnson,    WiUiam.     Sketches    of  the    Life    and    Correspondence    of 

Nathaniel  Greene.     Charleston,   1822. 
Kolfetaj,   Hugo.     Listy.     Poznali,   1872. 

Korzon,   T.     Kosciuszko.     Cracow,    1894,   and  later  edition,    1906. 
Kosciuszko.     Periodical  PubUcation.     Cracow,   1S93-96. 
Kosciuszko,   T.     Listy.     Ed.   by  L.   Siemieliski.     Lwow,   1877. 
Kunasie^\•icz,  S.     T.  Kosciuszko  w  Ameryce.     Lwow,   1876. 
Mickiewicz,   Adam.     Histoire  Populaire  de  Pologne.     Paris,    1867. 
Napoleon  I.     Correspondance.     Paris,  1863. 

Niemce\vicz,  J.     Notes  sur  ma  Captivite  a  Petershourg.    Paris,  1843. 
Niemcewicz,  J.     Pamietniki  Czasdw  Moich.     Paris,   1848. 
Ogi6ski,  M.     Memoir es.     Paris,   1826. 

Paszkowski,  F.     Dzieje   Tadeusza  Kosciuszki.     Cracow,    1872. 
Powstanie      T.     Kosciuszki     z     Pism     Autentycznych     Sekretnyclu 

Poznad,  1846. 
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Rychlicki,  F.     Tadeusz  Kosciuszko  i  Rozbidr  Polski.     Cracow,  1875. 
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for   Kosciuszko's   letter   to    Karl   Schmid. 
Washington,     George.     Writings.     Ed.     by    Jared    Sparks.     New 

York,  1847. 



Adams,  President  of  United 
States,   177 

Alexander,  I,  of  Russia,  visits 
Kosciuszko  in  prison,  168, 
191  ;  friendship  -with  Czar- 
toryski,  168,  191  ;  relations 
uith  Poland,  168,  191-6 ; 
enters  Paris  in  1814,  191  ; 
Kosciuszko's  efforts  for  Po- 
land with,  191-5,  197  ;  pro- 
mise to  Kosciuszko,  193;  201 

.\ndre,  44 

Arnault,  200 

Arnold,  44 

Augustus,   III,  king  of  Poland, 

26,  27 

Bar,    Confederation   of,    31,    39, 

40,   130 
Bartos,  Wojtek,  see  dowacki 
Beaujolais,  de,   180 
Brandy*,  Tomasz,   106,   107 
Branicki,  X,,  71,  72,  79,  81,  83 
Burgoyne,  38 
Burke,  Edmund,  71 

Carignano,  princess  di,  Maria, 

Carlo  Alberto,   199 

Catherine,  II,  of  Russia,  rela- 
tions with  Stanislas  Augustus, 

27,  33,  77,  80 ;  intrigues 
in  Poland,  31,  71,  72,  77,  81, 
83.  87,  94;  92  ;  99;  130; 
attitude  to  Prussia  at  siege 
of  Warsaw,  146  ;  treats  with 
Prussia  for  third  parti- 
tion, 149  ;  sends  Suvorov  to 
Polcind.  ib.  ;  relations  with 
Kosciuszko,  167  ;  death,  168; 
172;  191 

Charles,  XII,  of  Sweden,  30 

Clinton,  41 

Constantine,  Grand  Duke,   192, 


Constitution  of  the  Third  of 
May,  53,  59.  71,  72,  81,  89, 
117,   128 

CornwaUis,  46 

Cosway,  portrait  of  Kosciuszko, 
175,  176,  200 

Czartoryska,  Princess,  Kosciusz- 
ko's letters  to,  79-81,  84, 
121  ;    87 

Czartoryski,  Prince  Adam,  re- 
lations with  Kosciuszko,  27, 
50 ;  relations  with  School  of 
Cadets,  27-29 

Czartoryski,  Prince  Adam,  meets 
Kosciuszko  in  youth,  87; 
hostage  in  Catherine  II's 
court,  87,  191  ;  friendship 
with  Alexander  I,  168,  191  ; 
Russia's  foreign  minister  of 
affairs,  191.  193  ;  interview 
with  Kosciuszko,  194  ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's letter  to,  195,  196  ; 
outlawed  for  share  in  Rising 
of  1830,   196 

Danton,  90 

Denisov,   129 

Devonshire,  Duchess  of,  175, 

Dombrowski,  leader  of  Polish 
legions,  143,  183,  189  ;  the 
March  of,  143,  183  ;  at  siege 
of  Warsaw,  143  ;  successes  in 
Great  Poland,  150  ;  takes 
Bydgoszcz,  154 ;  manifesto 
to  Poles,   183  ;   184 

Dzialynski,   157 




Estko,  Stanislas,  56,  85,  183 
Estkowa,  Anna,  30  ;  affection 
between  Kosciuszko  and,  33, 
56  ;  54  ;  55  >■  Kosciuszko's  let- 
ters to,  56,  57,  60,  61  ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's farewell  letter  to, 
84.  85  ;    183 

Fersen,  Kosciuszko  marches 
against,  153  ;  Kosciuszko's 
captor,   159-162 

Fiszer,   156,   158-165 

Fouche,  treats  for  Napoleon 
with  Kosciuszko,   1 88-1  go 

Fox,  175 

Franklin,  Benjamin,  40,  50 

Frederick  William,  II,  of  Prus- 
sia, 99  ;  at  Szczekociny,  132, 
133 ;  138  :  at  siege  of 
Warsaw,  141  ;  summons 
Stanislas  Augustus  to  sur- 
render, 145  ;  treats  with 
Catherine  II  for  the  third 
partition,  149 

Gates,  relations  with  Kosciuszko, 
38,  39.  43.  44.  178  ;  at 
Saratoga,  38,  39  ;  41 ;  defeat 
Camden,  45  ;     181 

George  III,  92 

Glowacki,  Wojciech,   109 

Greene,  Mrs.,  48 

Greene,  Nathaniel,  relations  with 
Kosciuszko,  43-46  ;  leads 
war  in  Carolina;  45-9,  on 
Kosciuszko,  48,  49 

Grey,  Lord,  Kosciuszko  ad- 
dresses him  on  restoration 
of  Poland,  196  ;  his  answer, 
196,    197 

Grzywa,  Jan,   106,   107 

Igelstrom,  92,  95,  112,   113 

Jefferson,  Thomas,  44 ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's friendship  with, 
178.  180,  181,  188  ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's portrait  of,  180  ; 
on  Kosciuszko,  181  ;  execu- 
tor of  Kosciuszko's  legacy  to 
the  negroes,  181,  182 

Kachowski,  76,  78 

Kamienski,   142,   143 

Kapostas,  94,   128 

Kilinski,  takes  part  in  Rising, 
112,  140,  141,  143  ;  on 
Pohsh  National  Council,  128 

Kniaziewicz,  in  Polish  legions, 
64,  185  ;  in  Pan  Tadeusz, 
70  ;  at  Dubienka,  76  ;  81  ; 
at  Maciejowice,  158  ;  pris- 
oner of  war,  158-164  ;  185  ; 

Kollontaj,  Hugo,  member  of 
Commission  of  Education, 
53  ;  collaboration  in  Rising, 
53,  89,  92.  95,  121  ;  as 
political  reformer,  54,  61  ; 
friendship   with  Kosciuszko, 

61,  153  ;  on  Kosciuszko,  89  ; 
member  of  National  Council, 

Kopec,  leads  soldiers  to  Rising, 
130  ;  at  Maciejowice,  157  ; 
prisoner  of  war,   157-164 

Korzon,  T.,  35,  37.  59,  69,  85, 
86,   135,   166 

Kosciuszko,  Jozef,  30,  31,  33,  54, 


Kosciuszko,  Ludwik,  position  of, 
24 ;  character  and  house- 
hold,  24,   25  ;    26  ;    32  ;    34 

Kosciuszko,  Tadeusz,  type  of 
national  champion,  23 ;  char- 
acter, 23,  26,  29,  30,  33, 
34,  41,  42,  45,  47,  49,  51,  57, 

62,  70,  80,  83,  93,  102,  105, 
107,  III,  115,    122-124,  127, 

131.  134.  138.  147.  148,  I74> 
175.  196 ;  birth,  23  ;  early 
life,  24-6 ;  efforts  for  the 
serfs,  25,  55,  85,  116,  117. 
190,  192  ;  patriotism,  26, 
32,  33.  43.  50.  58.  70.  83, 
84.  93.  115.  122,  123,  144, 
167,  175,  176,  182,  188,  191, 
196,  200  ;  relations  with 
Adam  Czartoryski,  27,  50 ; 
life  as  cadet,  27-30  ;  rela- 
tions with  Stanislas  Augus- 
tus, 27,  30-33,  35,  59,  60, 
76,    79-81,    113,    119,    122  ; 



Kosci  u  szko — continued. 

his  appearance,  29,  144  ; 
financial  difficulties,  30-33, 
54.   55  ;     studies  in   France, 

31.  32,  35  ;  in  American  War 
of  Independence,  31,  32, 
36-52,  57.  59.  82,  91,  132  ; 
returns   to   Poland  in    1774, 

32,  33  ;  affection  for  Anna 
Estkowa.  33,  56  ;  Ludwika 
Sosnowska  (Lubomirska)  and, 
33-35.  51.  59,  163,  199; 
leaves  Poland  in  1775,  35  ; 
in  Paris,  35,  36  ;  relations 
with  Washington,  37,  39-44, 
49,  177,  178  ;  relations  wth 
Gates,  38,  39,  43,  44,  178  ; 
meeting  with  Pulaski,  39, 
40  ;  relations  with  Greene, 
43-46  ;  sympathy  for  ne- 
groes, 45  ;  Greene  on,  48,  49  ; 
American  testimonies  to,  49  ; 
American  honours  for,  49, 
50  ;  friendship  with  Niem- 
cewicz,  50,  51,  61,  105,  144, 
160,  165,  170  ;  leaves  Am- 
erica, 51  ;  democratic  sym- 
pathies, 51,  58,  59,  90,  91, 
128,  178  ;  returns  to  Poland 
from  America,  53  ;  life  in 
the  country,  54-8  ;  letters 
to  Anna  Estkowa,  56,  57,  60, 
61,  84,  85  ;  friendship  with 
Zaleslds,  57  ;  letter  to  Michal 
Zaleski's  wife,  57,  58  ;  letters 
to  Michal  Zaleski,  58,  72,  73, 
82,  83  ;  his  ideas  on  peasant 
army,  58,  91-4,  108,  no, 
116;  command  in  Polish 
army,  59-62,  73  ;  friendship 
with  Ignacy  Potocki  and 
Kollontaj,  61,  153  ;  Orlow- 
ski's  letter  to,  62  ;  love  for 
Tekla  Zurowska,  62-70  ;  let- 
ters to  Tekla  Zurowska,  63-7, 
69  ;  in  Pan  Tadeusz,  70  ; 
part  in  Ukraine  campaign, 
74-6,  78  ;  his  MS.  on  Uk- 
raine campaign,  75.  76, 
78,  91,  92,  119;  honours 
after     Dubienka,     76,      77  ; 

Kosciuszko — continued. 

resigns  command,  79-81,  84  ; 
letters  to  Princess  Czar- 
toryska,  79-81,  84,  121  ; 
audience  with  King,  80,  81  ; 
last  days  in  Warsaw,  81,  82  ; 
letter  to  Felix  Potocki,  82  ; 
bequeathal  of  estate,  84,  85  ; 
goes  into  exile,  85,  86  ;  in 
Galicia,  87,  88  ;  friendship 
of  Czartoryskis  for,  87  ;  in 
Leipzig,  88,  89  ;  Kollontaj 
on,  89  ;  in  Paris  during 
Revolution,  89-92  ;  relations 
with  Lebrun,  90,  187  ; 
characteristics  of  his  govern- 
ment of  Poland,  91,  114, 
115,  121,  124  ;  returns 
to  Leipzig,  92  ;  chosen  as 
national  leader,  92,  93  ; 
preparations  for  Rising,  93, 
^   94  ;  in  Italy,  94  ;  in  Dresden, 

95  ;     enters    Poland    as    Ub- 
erator,   95  ;     enters   Cracow, 

96  ;  his  Act  of  the  Rising, 
96-102,  127  ;  opens  Rising 
in  Cracow,  97,  98  ;  made 
dictator,  100 ;  character  of 
his  manifestos,  102,  123  ; 
manifesto  to  the  Polish  and 
Lithuanian  armies,  103-5  ; 
to  the  clergy,  105  ;  to 
women,  105,  106  ;  receives 
offering  of  boatmen,  106, 
107;  organizes  Rising, 
107;     his    victory    at    Rac- 

lawice,  108,  109,  132,  198  ; 
relations  with  peasant  sol- 
diers, 108,  109,  122,  144  ; 
his  report  on  Raclawice, 
109  ;  organizes  Rising  after 
Raclawice,  no;  enthu- 
siasm for  him,  no,  121-3, 
144  ;  manifesto  to  San- 
domierz,  in,  112  ;  appeal  to 
Warsaw,  112  ;  manifesto  on 
Rising  of  Warsaw,  113  ; 
Provisional  Council  of  Wilno 
on,  113,  114;  difficulties  of 
his  task,  114,  115  ;  letters  to- 
Mokronowski,  115,  122,  148  ; 




Kosciuszko — continued. 

to  prince  Sapieha,  115,  116  ; 
manifesto  to  Volhjmia,  116  ; 
mandate  to  churches,  118  ; 
conception  of  the  war,  118, 
130 ;  manifesto  regarding 
Ruthenes,  118,  IL9  ;  to 
Ruthenian  clergy,  119;  let- 
ter to  King,  120,  121  ; 
relations  with  his  officers, 
122,  123  ;  manifesto  to 
Lithuania,  124,  125  ;  mani- 
festo on  his  government--of 
state,  126,  127  ;  regularizes 
civil  government,  127,  128  ; 
reception  of  Poniatowski, 
127  ;  against  Denisov,  129  ; 
description  of  his  camp  and 
person,  130,  131  ;  131  ; 
defeat  at  Szczekociny,  132—4; 
Austria  orders  arrest  of, 
134  ;  summons  to  peasant 
war,  134,  135  ;  his  desperate 
position,  135  ;  letter  to  citi- 
zens of  Warsaw,  135,  136  ; 
manifesto  after  Szczekociny, 
136  ;  march  to  Warsaw,  136, 
138  ;  manifesto  on  loss  of 
Cracow,  137  ;  letter  to  War- 
saw on  street  murders,  138- 
140  ;  tact  in  dealing  with 
men  and  affairs,  140  ;  his 
defence  of  Warsaw,  141-6  ; 
conduct  of  affairs  from  War- 
saw, 144,  145  ;  attitude  on 
Rising  in  Great  Poland,  145  ; 
letter  to  Zakrzewski,  145, 
146  ;  letter  of  National 
Council  to,  146,  147  ;  reply 
to  National  Council,  147  ; 
religious  tolerance,  148  ;  con- 
duct to  Jews,  ib.  ;  and  to 
prisoners  of  war,  148,  149  ; 
position  after  deliverance  of 
Warsaw,  149,  150 ;  journey 
to  Lithuania,  150 ;  mani- 
festo to  Lithuanian  army, 
150-152  ;  his  last  manifesto, 
152,  153  ;  last  night  in 
Warsaw,  153  ;  ride  from 
Warsaw     to      Sierakowski's 

Kosciuszko — continued. 

camp,  153,  154  ;   last  march. 
154.  155  .'    attitude  on  Dom- 
browski's   victory,    154  ;     on 
eve     of     Maciejowice,      155, 
156 ;     at   Maciejowice,    156- 
158,     197.     202  ;      wounded 
and     taken    prisoner,     158  ; 
prisoner    in     the     Zamojski 
manor,    159,    160 ;     journey 
to  Russia,  160-165  ;   message 
and      gift      from      National 
Council    to,     i6i  ;     grief   in 
Warsaw   for,  161  ;     Warsaw 
offers    to   exchange   Russian 
prisoners     for,      161,      162  ; 
Niemcewicz      on      indignity 
shown  to,   162  ;    failure  and 
moral  effect  of    his    Rising, 
163  ;  imprisonment  in  Peters- 
burg,    165-168,     170,       171, 
173  ;     subjected    to   inquisi- 
tion,    166,     167 ;      relations 
with     Catherine     II,      167  ; 
Rogerson   on,    167  ;     visited 
by    Paul    I    in    prison    and 
freed,  168  ;   visited  by  Alex- 
ander I  in  prison,  168,  igi  ; 
colloquy  with  Paul,  168-170  ; 
subsequent   interviews    with 
Tsar,    170  ;     interview   with 
Niemcewicz,  170,  171  ;   takes 
oath     of     allegiance,      171  ; 
farewell   audience   with   Im- 
perial    family,      171,      172  ; 
leaves  Russia,  172  ;   journey 
through  Finland,    173,   174  ; 
in  Sweden,   174,   175  ;    Swe- 
dish  portrait   of,    174,  175  ; 
Cosway's    portrait    of,     175, 
176,     200 ;      leaves    Sweden 
for    England,    175  ;     hfe    in 
London,  175,  176  ;    effect  on 
Savage  Landor,  175  ;  'letter 
to  Russian  ambassador,  1 76  ; 
in    Bath    and    Bristol,    ib.  ; 
departure  from  Bristol,  176. 
177 ;      journey     to     United 
States,     177  ;      in    Philadel- 
phia,    177,      178  ;      Adams' 
letter    to,     177  ;      friendship 



JKosciuszko — continued. 

with  Jefferson,  178,  180, 
181,  188  ;  friendship  with 
White  family,  178-180;  let- 
ter to  Mrs.  White,  179  ;  re- 
turns to  Philadelphia,  179  ; 
Paul  I's  gift  of  money  to, 
180,  184,  185,  201  ;  financial 
dealings  with  Congress,  180  ; 
visited  by  Orleans  princes, 
180  ;  his  portrait  of  Jeffer- 
son, ib.  ;  Jefferson  on,  181  ; 
returns  to  Europe,  1 81-183  ; 
will    for    the    negroes,    181, 

182  ;    nephews   join  legions, 

183  ;  honours  paid  him  in 
Bayonne,  183,  184  ;  in  Paris, 
184,  185  ;  repudiates  oath 
to  Paul  I,  184,  185  ;  mea- 
sures taken  by  partitioning 
powers  against,  185  ;  pre- 
sented with  Sobieski's  sword, 

1S5,  186  ;  relations  with 
legions,  186,  187 ;  relations 
■with  Napoleon  I,  186-190  ; 
wthdraws  from  relations 
with  French  government, 
187  ;  furthers  interests  of 
disbanded  legionaries,  188  ; 
his  textbook  on  artillery, 
ib.  ;  friendship  with  Zelt- 
ners,  188,  190-192,  198,  199, 
201  ;  his  conditions  for 
Poland's  restoration,  190, 
192 ;  life  in  France  until 
2Srapoleon's  fall,  190,  191  ; 
Emilia  Zeltner  and,  190,  191, 
198,  199,  201  ;  relations  with 
Alexander  I,  191,  201  ;  pleads 
ior  Poland  with  Alexander, 
191-195,  197  ;  promise  of 
Alexander  to,  193  ;  sent 
for  by  Czartoryski,  193; 
journey  to  Austria,  193, 
194  ;  interview  ^\ith  Czar- 
toryski, 194  ;  letter  to  Czar- 
toryski, 195,  196  ;  fulfilment 
•of  his  predictions  regarding 
Poland,  196  ;  writes  to  Grey, 
ib .;  Grey's  answer  to,  196, 
197  ;      retires     from     public 

K.oicinszko—conti  nued . 

hie,    197  ;     last   years,    197- 

201  ;  love  of  children  and 
youth,    198  ;     love   of   poor, 

198,  199,  201  ;  corresponds 
with  Princess   di  Carignano, 

199,  200  ;  correspondence 
with  Jane  Porter,  200  ;  inter- 
est in  education,  200,  201  ; 
death,  201  ;  last  resting 
place,  ib.  ;    the  hill  of,  201, 

202  ;  Polish  cult  of,  202  ; 
his  refutation  of  Finis  Polo- 
nicB,  202,  203. 

Kosciuszko,  Tekla,  relations  with 
husband,  25  ;  character,  26  ; 
death,    30 

Krasinska,    Franciszka,    200 

Krushtzov,   162 

Lafayette,  acquaintance  with 
Kosciuszko  and  Pulaski,   40 

Landor,  Walter  Savage,  Kos- 
ciuszko and,   175 

Laurens,  47 

Lebrun,  relations  with  Kos- 
ciuszko,   90,     187 

Lee,  Harry,  on  Kosciuszko,  49 

Libiszewsld,    173-175,    177 

Louis  Philippe,  visits  Kos- 
ciuszko,   180 

Louis  XVI,  recognizes  United 
States,  38  ;  execution,  89, 
90,    119 

Lubomirska,  Lud^vika,  and  Kos- 
ciuszko, 33-35.  51.  59.  163, 

Madalinski,    96,    108,    109,    134, 

142,  143 
jlarek.  Father,  130 
Marie,  Empress  of  Russia,   172 
McDougall,   on    Kosciuszko,    41 
Mickiewicz,   Adam,   on  patriot- 
ism,   23  ;     his    poetry,    60  ; 
his  Pan  Tadeusz,   70,   202 
Mokronowski,    in    Rising,     113, 
150  ;   Kosciuszko's  letters  to, 
115,   122,   148 
Montpensier,   de,    180 




Napoleon  I,  Polish  legions  and, 

182,  183,  186,  187.  189  ; 
betrays  Poland,  183,  187  ; 
enthusiasm     of     Poles     for, 

183,  189  ;  relations  with 
Ko^ciuszko,  186-190 ;  be- 
comes first  consul,  187  ;  be- 
comes emperor,  188  ;  victory 
at  Jena,  ib.  ;  summons  Poles 
to  banner,  188,  189 ;  on 
Kosciuszko,  190 ;  his  vic- 
tories, ib,  ;  marches  on  Paris, 

Nicholas,  I,  of  Russia,  196 
Niemcewicz,  Julian,  friendship 
with  Kosciuszko,  50,  51,  61, 
105,  144,  160,  165,  170  ; 
patriot  and  poet,  51,  61  ;  in 
Florence,  94 ;  Kosciuszko's 
companion  in  Rising,  105, 
143,  144,  150,  153-156;  at 
Maciejowice,  156,  157 ;  de- 
scription of  battle,  156-8  ; 
taken  prisoner,  157,  158  ; 
Kosciuszko's  companion  as 
prisoner  of  war,  159-165  ; 
on  indignity  paid  to  Kos- 
ciuszko, 162  ;  imprisonment 
in  Petersburg,  165,  167  ; 
168  ;  interview  with  Kos- 
ciuszko, 170,  171  ;  leaves 
Russia,  172,  173  ;  journey 
through  Finland,  174  ;  jour- 
ney to  England,  175  ;  176  ; 
journey  to  United  States, 
177  ;   180  ;   181 

Oginska,  Princess,   150 
Oginski,    Michal,    Prince,     138, 

147,  161 
Orlewska,  Tekla,  64 
OrJowski,  31,  62,   87,   145 

Parsons,  41 

Paszkowski,  190,  201  ■ 
Paul,  I,  of  Russia,  visits  Kos- 
ciuszko in  prison  and  frees 
him,  168  ;  colloquy  with 
Kosciuszko,  168-170  ;  sub- 
sequent interviews  with 
Kosciuszko,      170  ;       exacts 

Paul,  I — continued. 

oath  of  allegiance  from 
Kosciuszko,  171  ;  farewell 
audience  with  Kosciuszko, 
172  ;  179  ;  gift  of  money  to 
Kosciuszko,  180,  184,  185, 
201 ;  KoSciuszko  repudiates 
oath  to,  184,  185 

Perronet,   31 

Pestalozzi,  200 

Poniatowski,  J6zef,  Polish  leader 
in  Napoleonic  wars,  74,  189  ; 
in  Ukraine  campaign,  74-6, 
78,  91  ;  in  Rising,  122,  127; 
143  ;  Kosciuszko's  reception 
of,    127 

Poniatowski, Stanislas  Augustus, 
see   S. 

Poninski,    133,    157 

Porter,   Jane,   200 

Potocki,  Felix,  71,  72,  75,  79, 
81  ;  Kosciuszko's  letter  to, 
82;     83 

Potocki,  Ignacy,  member  of 
Commission  of  Education, 
53  ;  collaboration  in  Rising, 
53.  89,  92,  93,  95,  121  ; 
friendship  with  Kosciuszko, 
61,  153  ;  patriotic  reformer, 
61,  8g  ;  member  of  National 
Council,  127  ;  consulted  by 
Kosciuszko  regarding  oath, 

Potocki,  Stanislas,  75 

Pulaski,   Kazimierz,   31,   39,   40 

Radifere,  41 

Repnin,  31 

Robespierre,  91 

Rogerson,  on  Kosciuszko,   167  ; 

171,  172,  176 
Rzewuski,  Severin,  71,    72,   79, 

81,  83 

Sanguszko,  Eustachy,   133 
Sanguszko,    Princess,    163 
Sapieha,    Franciszek,    115,    116 
Segur,  202 
Sheridan,   175 

Sierakowski,  150,  153,  154, 



Sobieski,  Jan,  87,  185,  186,  201 
Sosnowska,  Ludwika,  see  Lubo- 

Sosnowski,  J6zef,  33,  34 
Sroki,  Wojciech,   106,   107 
Stanislas,     Augustus,     succeeds 
to    throne    of    Poland,    27  ; 
relations  with  Catherine  II, 
27.    33.    77.    80 ;     relations 
with  Kosciuszko,  27,  30-33, 
35.   59.   60,   76,   79-81,    113, 
119,  122  ;    character,  30,  32, 
80  ;  patron  of  art  and  letters, 
53  ;    speech  to  Diet,  73,  74  ; 
conduct    in     Ukraine     cam- 
paign, 75  ;  adheres  to  Targo- 
wica,     77,    78  ;     Kosciuszko 
on,  78,  91,  92  ;  81  ;   adheres 
to    Rising,    112,    113;    Kos- 
ciuszko's  letter  to,  120,  121; 
in  siege  of  Warsaw,   145 
Staszyc,  54 

Suvorov,  marches  against  Kos- 
ciuszko, 149,  153  ;  beats 
Sierakowski,  150  ;  his  mas- 
sacre at  Praga,  153,  163  ; 
his  siege  of  Warsaw,    161 

Targowica,  Confederation  of,  72, 
73,  77.  78.  81-83,  120,   138 

Walpole,   Horace,    71 

Washington,  George,  relations 
with  Kosciuszko,  37,  39-44, 

49,177.  178:43;  45;  50;  180 
Wejssenhof,    121 
White,  Ehza,   179 
White,   General,    178,    180,    181 
White,   Mrs.,   179,   180 
Wilkinson,  38 
Wilmot,   47,   48 
Wodzicki,   97,    132,    133 
Wybicki,   189 

Zajonczek,   93,   94,    log 

Zakrzewski,  113;  summons  to 
citizens  of  Warsaw,  140, 
141  ;  143  ;  letter  of  Kos- 
ciuszko to,  145,  146  ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's  last  evening  with, 


Zaleski,  Michal,  Kosciuszko's 
friendship  for,  57  ;  Kos- 
ciuszko's letter  to  his  wife, 
57,  58  ;  Kosciuszko's  letters 
to,  58,  72,  73,  82,  83 

Zeltner,  Emilia,  and  Kosciuszko, 
190,  191,  198,  199,  201 

Zeltner,  family  of,  188,  190-192, 

.      198,    199,   201. 

Zurowska,  Tekla,  Kosciuszko's 
love  for,  62-70  ;  Kosciuszko's 
letters  to,  63-67,  69  ;  marries 
Kniaziewicz,  70 

Printed  in  Great  Britain  ly 

Poland    and    the    Minority 


XV^dv^Cs  Fellow  of  Corpus  Christi  College,  Cambridge, 

lately  Captain   U.S.  Army 

Demy  Zvo.  About  10/.  dd.  net, 

A  description  of  life  in  Poland  by  the  counsel  of  the  American  Peace 
Mission  to  Poland.  Emphasis  is  placed  on  the  relation  between  the 
Poles  and  the  Jewish,  Lithuanian,  Russian  and  German  racial  minorities. 

The  book  includes  sketches  of  President  Piisudski,  Prime  Minister 
Paderewski,  the  capture  of  Minsk  from  the  Bolsheviks  and  the  Jewish 
pogrom  which  followed,  the  Polish  Diet  in  session,  the  political  parties, 
the  battlefields  of  the  Great  War,  and  the  rabbinical  schools. 

The   Forerunners 

Translated  by  EDEN  and  CEDAR  PAUL 

Demy  8e'5.  8/.  dd.  net. 

In  1916  we  had  the  pleasure  of  publishing  "Above  the  Battle,"  a  work 
by  the  author  of  "Jean  Christophe,"  which  immediately  acquired  a  world- 
wide reputation.  "  The  Forerunners  "  is  a  sequel  to  "Above  the  Battle." 
The  precursors  of  whom  Rolland  writes  are  those  of  kindred  spirit  to  the 
persons  to  whom  the  book  is  dedicated.  It  is  published  "  in  memory  of 
the  martyrs  of  the  new  faith  in  the  human  international,  the  victims  of 
bloodthirsty  stupidity  and  of  murderous  falsehood,  the  liberators  of  the 
men  who  killed  them." 

The  World  after   the    War 


Demy  8vo.  yj.  6d.  net.     Post  free  8/.  net. 

A  vivid  picture  of  the  net  effects  of  the  War,  and  of  Allied  policy  since 
the  War,  especially  upon  the  lives  of  the  common  people  in  all  lands. 
Enough  detail  is  included  to  give  the  sense  of  poignant  human  realities  ; 
but  the  situation  is  grasped  as  a  whole  and  drawn  in  broad  and  distinct 
outline — the  "  Balkanization "  of  Europe  ;  the  new  Balance  of  Power  ; 
the  economic  chaos  ;  the  responsibility  of  the  Allied  statesmen  ;  the 
inner  meaning  of  Bolshevism,  and  of  the  war  against  Bolshevism  ; 
finally,  the  elements  of  hope  and  recovery,  and  the  possibility  of  a  great 

religious  revival. 

RUSKIN    HOUSE,    40    MUSEUM     STREET,    W.C.  I 


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Garaner,  Monict.  Mar/